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Head of prisoners’ club rejects EU proposal to replace prisoners’ salaries with social aid

Headline: “Fares: Any proposal that harms the rights of the prisoners’ families is unacceptable”

“Chairman of the [PA-funded] Prisoners’ Club Qadura Fares said in a press release today (Thursday) [May 2, 2019] that any proposal that harms the rights of the prisoners’ families and Palestinian law is unacceptable (refers to EU proposal to reorganize the PA’s terrorist salaries as welfare payments; see note below –Ed.), and this is due to the great uniqueness of their cause in the Palestinian people’s soul and awareness.

Following information about the existence of European proposals regarding the allowances of the prisoners’ families, Fares added that the bodies that are making the proposals need to do what is required of them and press Israel to cease the incessant theft of our people’s money (refers to Anti “Pay-for-Slay” Law to deduct terrorist salaries; see note below –Ed.), stop the pressure that they are exerting on the Palestinians, and cease every attempt to harm the spirit of Palestinian law.

He emphasized that any concessions that are liable to harm the status of the law are unacceptable, particularly because this status has a greater significance than material value; this is a value that concerns the significance and legitimacy of the Palestinian struggle against the occupation. Fares emphasized that Palestinian law must be defended against any external intervention.”

EU proposal of welfare rather than terror salaries - an EU official made a proposal to the PA, in response to the PA financial crisis caused by its refusal to accept any tax money collected for it by Israel if terrorist salaries are deducted from it through Israel’s Anti “Pay-For-Slay” Law. On April 30, 2019, the EU official proposed reorganizing the PA payments to terrorists and their families as needs based welfare payments, rather than as direct payments for engaging in terror that increase according to the severity of the attack, and claimed this would remove any financial incentive for terrorism. The PA has rejected the proposal.

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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