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Fatah blame Trump, Netanyahu for poverty

Headline: “Fatah: The Trump administration and Netanyahu bear the responsibility for their decisions”

“The Fatah Movement emphasized that [US President Donald] Trump and [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu bear the responsibility for the consequences of the difficult humanitarian situation in the territories of the occupied State of Palestine, and this is following their decisions to punish our Palestinian people by strangling the economy, starving children, and denying hospitals medicine.

[Fatah] Revolutionary Council member and Fatah Spokesperson Osama Al-Qawasmi emphasized that on the one hand Trump has made one decision after another to strangle the Palestinian people by stopping the aid to the hospitals in Jerusalem, closing USAID (sic., the PA requested to stop US aid in order to evade the US Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act of 2018; see note below), stopping the transfer of $800 million for the Palestinian people, and stopping his aid to UNRWA that stands at $350 million (see note below –Ed.).

Al-Qawasmi said yesterday [March 9, 2019] in a statement that on the other hand, Netanyahu has decided to steal the Palestinian people’s money by deducting the amount of $150 million (referring to implementation of the Anti “Pay-for-Slay” Law to deduct terror salaries; see note below –Ed.). He emphasized that the two of them bear the full responsibility for what is liable to happen.

Al-Qawasmi again emphasized Fatah’s position: We will die and not relinquish Jerusalem and our people’s rights, and the siege and the theft of our money will only increase our determination to stand firm and resist the Israeli occupation.”

 

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.
 

US President Donald Trump's administration announced on Aug. 31, 2018 that it was immediately cutting all $360 million of annual American funding to UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East). Explaining the decision, the US State Department said, "The fundamental business model and fiscal practices that have marked UNRWA for years – tied to UNRWA’s endlessly and exponentially expanding community of entitled beneficiaries – is simply unsustainable and has been in crisis mode for many years. The United States will no longer commit further funding to this irredeemably flawed operation."

The move came after the US froze two planned payments to UNRWA in early January 2018 for more than $100 million, and the US administration spoke about the need to reexamine and conduct a reform of the UN body. This occurred after the PA refused to negotiate with Israel and cut diplomatic ties with America following US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital on Dec. 6, 2017.

 

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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