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PA PM: “We will not agree that our sons in the prisons be defined as terrorists”, PA takes loans from banks to pay terrorists’ salaries

Headline: “Shtayyeh at the start of the [PA] government meeting: 60% of this month’s salary for the public employees in the West Bank and Gaza”

“[PA] Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh said: ‘Despite the financial hardships, and in accordance with the instructions of [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas, the [PA] government will pay the salaries of the prisoners and the Martyrs’ [families] in full, and 60% of the public employees’ salaries for the month of May [2019] in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, according to the same criterion. Those whose salaries are 2,000 [Israeli] shekels and less [will be paid] the entire amount due them.’

Shtayyeh added today (Monday) [May 27, 2019] during his speech at the start of the weekly government meeting in Ramallah: ‘Israel is continuing to deduct our money, and we are continuing to refuse to accept this money that is not in full (refers to Anti “Pay-for-Slay” Law to deduct terrorist salaries; see note below –Ed.). Our position is clear – we will not agree that our sons in the prisons be defined as terrorists and that it be said that we are funding terror, and therefore we will take loans from the banks in order to keep some of the monthly financial commitments.’”

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]