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PA PM: US is trying to “blackmail” us, Israel “is waging an economic war” by deducting terror salary payments but this “will not cause us to deviate from our obligations and our loyalty” to terrorists

Headline: “Shtayyeh: The US is blackmailing us so that we will agree to something that does not meet our minimum rights”

“[PA] Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh said: ‘The US is implementing a method of blackmail to make the Palestinians agree to something that does not meet our minimum rights. The workshop in Bahrain (i.e., refers to US-led conference in June 2019 focusing on economic aspects of US President Donald Trump's Middle East peace plan) is nothing but an economic bribe – but we are not seeking to live a comfortable life under occupation.’

Shtayyeh said this during a lecture… that he gave yesterday [July 16, 2019]… in Baghdad, the capital of Iraq…

Shtayyeh said that the Palestinian demands are simple and known to all: the end of the occupation, the establishment of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital, and the right of return for the refugees…

Shtayyeh added: ‘Israel is waging an economic war against us by deducting our payments to the families of the Martyrs and the prisoners from our money (refers to Anti “Pay-for-Slay” Law to deduct terror salaries; see note below –Ed.), which it is collecting due to its control over our borders, but this will not cause us to deviate from our obligations and our loyalty to them.’”

 

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]