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Abbas complains Israel deducted terrorist salaries, deduction is 70% of PA budget, employees paid only 50%

Official PA TV broadcast of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ speech before a visiting delegation of Harvard University students in Ramallah on March 23, 2019

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: “Recently, [the Israelis] deducted 182 million shekels (sic., 502,967,000 shekels) from us without us knowing how, why, and on what basis (sic., refers to Israeli Anti “Pay-for-Slay” Law to deduct terrorist salaries; see note below). We said: ‘Leave all the money with you, we don’t want it. Or let it all be paid to us and then we will sit and settle accounts – this is yours, this is mine. I have debts to you, I confirm it! I have [debts] to you, but at least you need to let me know what this money is.’ Amidst all this money that [Israel] has deducted – also a new [matter] – are the salaries (rawatib) that we pay the families of the Martyrs and the prisoners. [Israel] said: ‘These are criminals, these are murderers. You can’t pay them, and therefore I’m deducting this money from you.’ In other words, this is an act of thuggery – thuggery that is unacceptable to us, and therefore we returned the money to them and told them: ‘Until you treat us as equals, we are suffering greatly from the loss of a large portion of money equaling 70% of our budget. This month we were forced to pay just 50% of the [public] employees’ salaries, and perhaps next month – if the problem is not resolved – 40%, and so on and so forth, until in the end we will be left without a way to fund the country, the institutions, and the employees. The reason for this is the State of Israel.”

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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