PA prioritizes salaries to terrorists over medical care for Palestinians
- PA to stop giving Palestinians medical care in Israel which cost them $100 million a year, because Israel cut from the PA what the PA spends on terrorists' salaries - $138 million a year.
In 2015, the last year for which there are public records, over 102,000 Palestinians were granted permits to enter Israel for treatment, including over 20,000 Palestinians who received medical treatment in Israeli hospitals.
PA Ministry of Health Spokesman Osama Al-Najjar explained the cessation of medical referrals to the Israeli hospitals, starting from March 26, 2019, as follows:
Shortly after the murder of Israeli Ori Ansbacher in February 2019, Israel's cabinet decided to deduct 502 million shekels ($138 million) from the tax revenues Israel collects and transfers to the PA. Palestinian Media Watch had exposed that $138 million was the amount the PA admitted to paying in 2018 to terrorist prisoners and released prisoners.
Significantly, the current decision is in addition to the PA decision to cut the salaries of its civil servants, as a result of the financial crisis the PA is inflicting on itself.
Seen in their entirety, the decisions of the PA, stating the implementation of Israel's Anti "Pay for Slay law" as the major reason for the changes in policy, clearly demonstrate the PA's priorities - the continued payment of the salaries to the Palestinian terrorist prisoners and released prisoners is more important than providing sick Palestinians with the opportunity to receive medical treatment in Israeli hospitals, or the right of its law-abiding non-terrorist employees to receive their full wages.
Realizing the hardships and medical crises this will inflict on its population, the PA added to its announcement that it will find "find alternatives for the sick in the state hospitals and in private hospitals."
The following is the announcement from the PA Ministry of Health:
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]