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France expresses "regret" over Israel anti-"pay-for-slay" law

Headline: "France expressed its regret over Israel's decision to freeze part of the Palestinian tax money"

"France expressed its regret over the Israeli government's decision to freeze part of the tax money (refers to implementation of law to deduct terror salaries from PA tax money; see note below –Ed.) that was meant to be transferred to the PA according to the Oslo Accords (which the PA has rejected and said that it will not accept partial tax money) [parentheses in source].

In a statement yesterday [Feb. 22, 2019], the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its concern in light of the deterioration of the PA’s financial situation and called to honor the obligations according to the Oslo Accords, including the Paris Protocol (i.e., Paris Agreement; see note below) that regulates the economic and financial relations between Israel and the PA. It also emphasized that 'In light of the current unrest, everyone must refrain from taking any step that might increase the difficulty in renewing the dialogue between the two sides.'"

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]

Paris Agreement – agreement on economic relations between Israel and the PLO, signed in Paris on April 29, 1994. Its main goal is to promote peace by establishing economic relations modeled on EU economic relations.