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PLO chief negotiator: “The [PA] leadership will continue to pay the salaries of the prisoners, the Martyrs’ families, and the wounded”

Headline: “The allowances of the Martyrs and the prisoners”
      “[Secretary of the PLO Executive Committee, Fatah Central Committee member, and PLO Chief Negotiator Saeb] Erekat said that the [Palestinian] leadership is preparing to sue Israel for its crimes against the unarmed demonstrators at the Marches of Return (refers to violent riots at the Gaza-Israel border; see note below –Ed.). [He said:] ‘We will also ask the International Criminal Court’s legal committee to launch an investigation of the Israeli crimes, including the settlements, according to the complaint that was submitted by the State of Palestine. The committee will monitor the topic of the law deducting the allowance (mukhassasat) money of the Martyrs (Shahids), prisoners, and wounded’ (refers to Israeli law deducting terror salaries from tax money collected for the PA; see note below –Ed.).
Erekat explicitly stated that the leadership will continue to pay the salaries (rawatib) of the prisoners, the Martyrs’ families, and the wounded, despite the occupation authorities’ decision to deduct their allowances from the [Palestinian] National Authority’s tax revenues. Erekat sees this as a national obligation and legal and moral commitment that is consistent with the international agreements and treaties regarding prisoners, which Israel is violating with this decision.
He explained that deducting the allowances of the prisoners, Martyrs, and wounded violates [article 81 of] the Fourth Geneva Convention (the summary of the article on the paper’s front page specifically noted article 81 –Ed.), which obligates the states holding [captives] to bear responsibility for them, to provide them with medical treatment, not to deduct anything from their expenses, and to provide for their families (sic., article 81 refers to the rights of protected persons and internees, not those imprisoned for criminal acts –Ed.).
Erekat said that [the ratification of] the Israeli law means that [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s government considers the Palestinian National Authority to be nonexistent. Regarding this he emphasized that the leadership is at the service of our people and will never allow any party to rob it, and particularly its money.”
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"The March of Return" refers to massive violent riots in Gaza in which thousands of Palestinians are rioting on the border with Israel and attempting to cut through the security fence, attacking with firebombs, flaming kites, and gunfire. The riots began on March 30, 2018, and were scheduled to last for 6 weeks until Palestinian "Nakba" Day on May 15. On the day the US embassy opened in Jerusalem, May 14, 2018, the Palestinian attacks escalated and 62 Palestinians were killed. A senior official of the terror organization Hamas, Salah Bardawil, stated that 50 of the 62 belonged to Hamas, while Islamic Jihad identified 3 others as belonging to it.
The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, an Israeli research institute, published research documenting that from the start of the riots on March 30 until May 15, 93 of the 112 Palestinians killed in the riots (approximately 83%) were members of terrorist organizations.
Petitions against the IDF's use of live fire to combat the rioting submitted by organizations that advocate for Palestinian rights were rejected by Israel's Supreme Court on May 24, 2018. The court accepted the state's argument that the riots were "organized and directed" by Hamas, a terrorist organization, and thereby rejecting the claim that the riots were peaceful and civilian in nature. PMW reports were referred to in the Supreme Court's decision.

Law to deduct terror salaries from PA tax money - A law to deduct the amount of money the PA pays imprisoned terrorists and families of "Martyrs" from the tax money Israel collects for the PA, which was passed by the Israeli Parliament on July 2, 2018. The law freezes the deducted money and has Israel hold it indefinitely. Should the PA not pay terrorists' salaries or allowances to families of "Martyrs" for a full year, the Israeli government would have the option of giving all or part of the frozen money to the PA.
During the vote on the law, Israeli Parliament Member and Chairman of the Israeli Parliament Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Avi Dichter said: “The [Israeli Parliament] Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee received much help in its deliberations - from the families of terror victims and those wounded by terror attacks who came to the discussions and shared their views with us, and with them were people from Palestinian Media Watch who provided us with authentic data that enabled productive and professional deliberations, nuances that are very difficult to achieve without precise data.” [Israeli Parliament website, July 2, 2018]

PA claim that Israeli law to deduct PA tax revenues breaches Article 81 of the Fourth Geneva Convention - The PA claims that Israel's law to deduct the amount of the PA’s payments to terrorists and their families from taxes Israel collects for the PA (passed on July 2, 2018) breaches Article 81 of the Fourth Geneva Convention (GCIV). This is incorrect, as Article 81 applies only to “internees,” and not to terrorists who are standing trial, convicted, or released from prison, and likewise not to the families of dead terrorists. The only “internees” held by Israel are Palestinian terrorists held in administrative detention in accordance with Article 78 of GCIV, and Israel fulfills all its obligations vis-a-vis these “internees.”

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