PMW plays active role in Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on salaries to terrorist prisoners
PMW plays active role in Israel's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee debate drafting legislation to reduce Israeli tax transfers to PA
because of PA's payment of salaries to terrorists
Palestinian Media Watch played an active role in a hearing last week in the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee of Israel's parliament discussing legislation to deduct from the tax revenues that Israel transfers to the PA, the amount the PA pays in funding to terrorists and their families.k
Recognizing PMW's expertise since it first exposed this PA practice and from years of researching the subject, PMW was the only non-government organization to appear before the Committee discussing the new legislation. To date the committee has held three hearings, all attended by PMW. During the first two hearings, PMW gave extensive presentations that included specific examples of terrorists who attributed their terrorist actions to the PA salaries; specific proof that withholding the taxes resulted in a reduction of the terrorist salaries; examples of the decisions of foreign governments demanding that their donations to the PA not be used to pay the terrorist salaries; and comprehensive details and figures regarding the payments themselves.
Thanks to PMW's work for years with the international community since PMW first exposed the PA practice of paying salaries to terrorists in prison, by now the PA payments are common knowledge and many governments have changed funding behavior. The Israeli government is now suggesting legislation that would fight this practice shekel for shekel.
While the PA committed itself in the Oslo peace accords to combat terrorism, it is clear that these payments are not only a substantial incentive to carry out terrorist attacks. In the same Oslo agreements, Israel agreed to relinquish the taxes for imports to the PA controlled areas in favor of the PA, but continues to collect these taxes on its behalf. According to information provided to the Knesset by the Israeli Finance Ministry, Israel collects almost 700,000,000 Shekels ($200,000,000) a month in taxes and transfers a monthly payment of 600,000,000 shekels (after deducting debts of the PA).
The new legislation would empower the Israeli Authorities to deduct a sum equivalent to the annual expenditure of the PA on salaries to terrorists from the payments.
At the end of the hearing, Israeli parliamentary committee decided to meet again in three weeks and vote on language of the legislation that would be sent to the Knesset for approval.