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Martyrs’ relatives receive exemption from doctors’ fees for examinations

Headline: "An agreement on an exemption for Martyrs' relatives from fees for medical examinations by doctors registered with the association"

"The [Palestinian] Doctors' Association and the National Association of the Families of the Martyrs of Palestine signed a cooperation agreement yesterday [May 27, 2019], according to which an exemption from fees for examinations by doctors registered with the association will be given to Martyrs' relatives in all districts of the West Bank.

The agreement was signed in the offices of the associations’ center in El-Bireh, in the presence of Chairman of the Doctors' Association [Dr. Shawqi Sabha], Secretary-General of the National Association of the Families of the Martyrs of Palestine [Muhammad Sbeihat], Chairman of the [PA-funded] Prisoners' Club [Qadura Fares], and representatives of the [PLO] Families of the Martyrs and Wounded Institution.

The chairman of the Doctors' Association said at the signing ceremony that the professional associations have had a pioneering role since their establishment… and that the agreement was signed after a similar agreement was signed with the Families of the [Martyrs and] Wounded Institution, at a time when the Israeli attack against the families of the Martyrs and the wounded and the theft of the PA's money are growing stronger (referring to Israel’s Anti "Pay-for-Slay” Law to deduct terrorist salaries; see note below –Ed.)… and that the agreement contributes to the strengthening of the resolve of the families of the Martyrs and the wounded…

Chairman of the Prisoners' Club Qadura Fares… considered this agreement to be an incentive for the rest of the Palestinian [professional] associations to fulfill their role regarding the prisoners and the Martyrs.

Secretary-General of the National Association of the Families of the Martyrs of Palestine Muhammad Sbeihat explained that 20,000 of the relatives of the prisoners and Martyrs in the West Bank will benefit from the agreement – in other words, between 3,000 and 5,000 families – and they will benefit from free examinations by doctors of all specialties who are registered members of the Doctors' Association – except for dentists, as they have a separate association…

Sbeihat noted that in the past agreements were signed privately between the associations and doctors who deducted a certain amount from the fees for treating the families of the Martyrs, the prisoners, and the wounded, but with this agreement the matter has become official and comprehensive.

Sbeihat said that the exemption from fees includes the father, mother, wife, and children [of the Martyrs] who are minors, and also the younger brothers and sisters; and it includes the doctors in the West Bank districts. [Sbeihat] expressed hope that a similar agreement would be signed later on with the doctors in Gaza."

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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