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PA Presidential Office condemns “deduction of the salaries of the Martyrs’ families and the prisoners” and warns “about the danger in harming the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque”, which may lead to "religious conflict"

Headline: “The [PA] Presidential Office: The Israeli policy will not harm our people’s resolve and the leadership’s adherence to the national principles”
      “The [PA] Presidential Office yesterday [Feb. 27, 2019] condemned the series of incessant Israeli attacks, invasions, and provocations. This was expressed by the settlers’ invasion of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, and prime among them extremist Israeli Parliament Member Yehuda Glick, as well as the occupation police breaking into the house of prayer at the Gate of Mercy [of the Old City of Jerusalem] (refers to Israel closing compound near Gate of Mercy after Jordanian Waqf reopened it in violation of a court order; see note below –Ed.).
The Presidential Office also condemned the deduction of the salaries of the Martyrs’ (Shahids’) families and the prisoners from the Palestinian tax money (refers to implementation of the Israeli Anti “Pay-for-Slay” Law to deduct terrorist salaries from PA tax money; see note below –Ed.), and the arrest of senior Palestinian officials such as Jerusalem District Governor Adnan Ghaith and [Fatah] Revolutionary Council member Zakariya Al-Zbeidi… It warned about the danger in harming the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, which will constitute a crossing of all the red lines, and which will lead to grave consequences that will be uncontrollable. The Presidential Office called on the Arab and Islamic states, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and the international community to intervene immediately in order to stop the incessant attacks by the Israeli occupation, which through its aggressive actions will drag the region into a religious conflict that we are not interested in and about which we are continuously warning.”

The PA and its leaders consider all of the Temple Mount an integral part of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Therefore they view any presence of Jews on the mount as an "invasion." It should be noted that Jews who visit the Temple Mount only enter some sections of the open areas, and do not enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque or the Dome of the Rock. Israeli police ban Jewish prayer at the Temple Mount because of threats of violence by Palestinians.

February 2019 Temple Mount clashes – Muslim riots broke out on the Temple Mount starting Feb. 18, 2019, after the Israeli police closed a compound near the Gate of Mercy after the Jordanian Waqf had violated an Israeli court order by reopening the compound the previous week. The compound was ordered sealed in 2017 given that it was managed by the banned Islamic Movement in Israel and used for illegal construction and antiquities destruction.  

Israel's Anti "Pay-for-Slay" Law - Israeli law stating that the PA payments to terrorists and the families of dead terrorists is a financial incentive to terror. The law instructs the state to deduct and freeze the amount of money the PA pays in salaries to imprisoned terrorists and families of "Martyrs" from the tax money Israel collects for the PA. Should the PA stop these payments for a full year, the Israeli government would have the option of giving all or part of the frozen money to the PA.  The law was enacted by the Israeli Parliament on July 2, 2018, and its first implementation was approved by Israel's Security Cabinet on Feb. 17, 2019, when it decided to withhold 502,697,000 Israeli shekels (approximately $138 million) from the PA. In response, the PA announced it would not accept any of the tax money collected by Israel unless it also included the frozen amount.  During the initial parliamentary vote in 2018, the law's sponsor Avi Dichter said: “The Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee received much help in its deliberations... 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]

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