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PLO officials: “[PA] leadership will continue to pay the salaries of the prisoners”

“PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi said: ‘The law to deduct the allowances (mukhassasat) of the prisoners and wounded from the tax money, which was passed by the Israeli Parliament (refers to law deducting terror salaries from taxes collected for the PA; see note below –Ed.), is a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and the international conventions, as whoever holds prisoners is obligated to protect their lives and sustenance (the Fourth Geneva Convention relates to civilians in wartime, not terrorists imprisoned for criminal acts –Ed.). This law also contradicts the Paris Agreement, which Israel has violated and which gave it authority to hold direct contact with the world (sic., Israel has always had such authority; the Paris Agreement established economic relations between Israel and the PLO), and it abused this in order to turn us into consumers of Israeli goods.’ …
PLO Executive Committee Secretary, [Fatah Central Committee member, and PLO Chief Negotiator] Saeb Erekat said at a press conference held two days ago [July 4, 2018] that the leadership will continue to pay the salaries (rawatib) of the prisoners, the families of the Martyrs (Shahids), and the wounded, despite the occupation authorities’ decision to deduct their allowances from the PA’s tax money. He added that the Israeli decision means that the government of [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu thinks that the PA no longer exists, and he emphasized that the leadership is meant to serve our people and will not allow any party to blackmail it, particularly not through its money.
He also noted that the deduction of the allowances of the prisoners, Martyrs, and wounded contradicts article 81 of the Fourth Geneva Convention which determines that the states holding prisoners must bear responsibility for them, provide them with medical treatment, not omit anything from their expenses, and provide for their families (sic., article 81 refers to the rights of protected persons and internees, not those imprisoned for criminal acts –Ed.).”
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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]

Paris Agreement – agreement on economic relations between Israel and the PLO, signed in Paris on April 29, 1994. Its main goal is to promote peace by establishing economic relations modeled on EU economic relations.

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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