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PA Prime Minister to US senators: We do not fund terror

Headline: “Shtayyeh as he received an American delegation of senators: The voices of those opposing Trump’s positions on Palestine need to be heard”

“[PA] Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh emphasized that it is important that American voices that support the two-state solution according to the international decisions and the agreements that were signed be heard, at a time when the American administration led by [US President Donald] Trump is crossing the line in its clear bias in favor of Israel. Shtayyeh said this yesterday [April 24, 2019] while he received a delegation from the American Senate, led by Senator Mitt Romney and Senator Chris Murphy…

Shtayyeh said: ‘The Palestinian position to refuse to accept the tax money from Israel after the illegal deduction that Israel carried out (refers to the Anti “Pay-for-Slay” Law to deduct terrorist salaries; see note below –Ed.) stems from national, legal, and political goals, as accepting the money means confirming the Israeli claim that we are funding terror by paying the salaries (rawatib) of the families of the Martyrs (Shahids) and the prisoners.’”

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]