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PA daily: Salaries of Martyrs and prisoners, an obligation for entire world

Excerpt of op-ed by Omar Hilmi Al-Ghoul, regular columnist for the official PA daily

"Rather than the states of Europe taking a strong position in favor of the Palestinian leadership's decision not to accept the Palestinian tax money if even one penny is missing (referring to the PA's response to Israel's Anti "Pay-for-Slay" Law to deduct terrorist salaries; see note below –Ed.)… the European Union demands of [the PA leadership] as follows:

  1. To accept the partial [money] until a resolution is found for the problem with Israel.
  2. To succumb to the extortion of the Israeli ethnic cleansing state in everything related to the salaries of the relatives of the Martyrs (Shahids) and the prisoners, [and] to transfer their salaries to the [PA] Ministry of Welfare and treat the matter on a social and needs basis (referring to an EU proposal; see note below –Ed.)… such that the prisoners and Martyrs would become beggars instead of patriotic fighters. These European states are ignoring the fact that the salaries of the Martyrs and the prisoners are an obligation imposed on every Palestinian and the entire world, and primarily aging Europe, as they are symbols of a national liberation struggle and symbols of which the Palestinian people is proud. The terrorists are the Zionist Israelis, as they murder, steal land, and are hostile towards peace and coexistence."

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]

 

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.