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PA PM complains to World Bank about Israeli “Pay-for-slay” tax deductions

Headline: "Shtayyeh discusses the Israeli deductions from the tax money with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund"

"[PA] Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh discussed ways to deal with the illegal Israeli deductions from the Palestinian tax money (i.e., referring to Israel's Anti "Pay-for-Slay" Law to deduct terror salaries; see note below) with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and emphasized the necessity for the international institutions to pressure Israel to release the confiscated money.

Shtayyeh said this during two separate meetings in New York with a delegation led by World Bank Group Vice President for Middle East and North Africa Affairs Ferid Belhaj and a delegation led by Deputy Director of the IMF's Middle East and Central Asia Department Juha Kähkönen, on the sidelines of his participation in the donor meeting.

Shtayyeh demanded that the international financial institutions create an assisting system to carefully check all of the Israeli deductions from the Palestinian tax money…

He also said that the government has been experiencing financial difficulties since its establishment (i.e., since Shtayyeh formed government in March 2019 –Ed.) as a result of the confiscation of our money by Israel, and in order to deal with this we are working on a financial emergency basis and taking loans from the commercial banks in order to pay approximately 50% of the public sector employees' salaries."

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]