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PA PM: Tax deductions over salaries, a financial war

Al-Quds, Palestinian daily  |

Headline: “Shtayyeh: A thousand times ‘No’ to any initiative that does not comply with our people’s minimal demands”

“[PA] Prime Minister Dr. Muhammad Shtayyeh emphasized that his government was established in a difficult time in which there is a political war against the Palestinian people through ‘the deal of the century’ (refers to US President Donald Trump’s as yet unpublished Middle East peace plan –Ed.), whose path is blackmail, whose framework is Arab normalization [with Israel], and whose contents are a warped Palestinian entity…

Shtayyeh said this at a ceremony of the Nablus Municipality for the 150th anniversary of its establishment… which was held at the Bin Abd Al-Aziz Turkish Theater at An-Najah National University…

Shtayyeh explained that part of the blackmail is being done through a financial war, in which Israel is deducting 502 million shekels from the allowances of the prisoners and Martyrs (refers to first implementation of the Anti “Pay-for-Slay” Law to deduct terrorist salaries; see note below –Ed.). He blessed the PA and PLO employees who have not complained about being paid half salary for the third time in a row, because the goal is noble

Shtayyeh praised the [Nablus] City Council for documenting the history of the municipality over 150 years, in order to strengthen the Nablus narrative against the Israeli narrative…

Shtayyeh said: ‘The battle with the Israeli occupation is advancing in three matters, which are: geography, demography, and narrative. The battle today in Jerusalem and for Palestine is the battle over the narrative.’”

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]