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PA promises to assist families homeless due to Gaza escalation, despite the PA’s financial crisis

Headline: “[PA] minister of public works: The government will stand alongside Gaza’s victims despite the financial crisis”

“During a tour that he conducted yesterday [May 6, 2019], [PA] Minister of Public Works and Building Dr. Muhammad Ziyara surveyed the extent of the direct and indirect damage that many buildings suffered due to the Israeli bombing since last Saturday [May 4, 2019], which was directed against different sites in the Gaza Strip (refers to Israeli response to rocket barrage by Gaza terrorists against Israeli civilian population centers; see note below –Ed.).

In the tour that Minister Ziyara conducted while accompanied by the director of the Gaza contractors’ association… the damages caused by the destruction of four buildings in central Gaza City were surveyed.

Ziyara emphasized that his [PA] government will stand alongside the owners of the homes that were destroyed, and this is despite the ‘Hamas’ government not allowing it [to act]. He expressed regret that the facts-on-the-ground-government prevented him from working on the ground two days ago [May 5, 2019] when he visited the Al-Shifa Hospital in coordination with the Palestinian Red Crescent.

Ziyara emphasized that he came to Gaza by appointment of [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas and [PA] Prime Minister Dr. Muhammad Shtayyeh to hear about the residents’ suffering and their needs, in order to do all that the government can…

Ziyara called on the ‘Hamas’ Gaza government to reconsider its position, prioritize the general interest, and allow the Palestinian government to serve the citizens…

He emphasized that he expects them to allow him to work officially at the ministry’s [Gaza] headquarters to provide a response to the citizens’ needs, and explained that he is working in cooperation with the civil society organizations, including the Palestinian contractors’ union…

[Ziyara] emphasized that despite the financial crisis that the [Palestinian] National Authority is being subjected to as a result of the Israeli side not transferring the tax money (refers to Anti “Pay-for-Slay” Law to deduct terrorist salaries; see note below –Ed.), the government is completely prepared to provide rescue-assistance to the families that are homeless as a result of the latest Israeli escalation…

Ziyara called on the donor states and the international institutions to provide immediate assistance – through the [PA] government and the Public Works Ministry – to those who have been harmed and the families that have been uprooted as a result of the Israeli occupation’s attacks.”

May 2019 Gaza rocket attacks – The Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist organizations in Gaza launched a rocket barrage on Israeli civilian population centers on May 4, 2019, firing more than 700 rockets and murdering 4 Israelis in the course of two days. Israel responded by striking terror targets; 23 Gazans, many of them terrorists, were killed during the exchange of fire. On May 6 a ceasefire agreement was reached between Israel and Hamas.

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. During the parliamentary vote, 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] In accordance with the law, as of September 2021 Israel’s Security Cabinet had ordered the freeze of 1.857 billion shekels ($580.15 million) - the sum equivalent to the PA payments to terrorists in 2018, 2019, and 2020.