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PA PM: Israel should take payments to Palestinian terrorists upon itself, according to international conventions

Headline: “Shtayyeh calls on the states of the world to recognize the Palestinian state in order to save the two-state solution”

[PA] Prime Minister Muhammad Shatyyeh called on Switzerland, the European Union states, and the states that have not recognized Palestine to hurry and recognize the Palestinian state within the 1967 borders in order to save the two-state solution, rather than waiting until Israel annexes parts of the West Bank and afterwards publishing statements of condemnation and objection.

Shtayyeh said during his meeting with Swiss Ambassador in Palestine Julien Thöni yesterday [April 17, 2019]: ‘We will not submit due to the financial war that is being led by the US on one hand and Israel on the other (apparently refers to American Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act of 2018 and Israeli Anti “Pay-for-Slay” Law; see notes below –Ed.) so that we will accept the deal of the century (refers to US President Donald Trump’s as yet unpublished Middle East peace plan –Ed.). The world powers, Arab states, and BRICS states (i.e., Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) must start working to establish a joint international work team to sponsor the peace process, in light of the deal of the century to which no one agrees.’ He added: ‘Israel, as the occupying state, must take upon itself [the payment of] the prisoners’ salaries in accordance with the international conventions and agreements, and not punish us for paying them through the deduction of the tax money, which is Palestinian money. The entire international community must pressure Israel to release this money because the deductions are illegal.’”

Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act of 2018 - Among other things, this law gives US courts the jurisdiction to seize assets from any body that receives foreign aid from the US government, viewing their acceptance of US foreign aid as consent to US jurisdiction. This enables past and present victims of terror to successfully pursue lawsuits in US courts against such bodies that were connected in any way to the acts of terror. In the past many such cases have been thrown out due to lack of US jurisdiction. The law took effect on Feb. 1, 2019. In response to the law, the PA requested that the US end all of its foreign aid to the PA, which it did.

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]