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Greek Orthodox Archbishop demands banks pay terrorist murderers

“Head of the Greek Orthodox Diocese of Sebastia Archbishop Atallah Hanna today [May 8, 2020] demanded that the Palestinian banks that have stopped paying the released prisoners’ salaries (rawatib) reexamine their unfair decisions, and to do this from humanitarian considerations of the first order.

He emphasized in a statement, a copy of which reached [the independent Palestinian news agency] Donia Al-Watan, that it is forbidden to submit to the pressures and dictates that come from the outside, whose goal is to harm our people’s determination, willpower, and morale (refers to the application of much of Israel's Anti-Terror Law to the West Bank, including rendering banks liable to punishment for facilitating PA terror salaries -Ed.).

He said: ‘It is an embarrassment that some of the Palestinian banks are treating the released prisoners in this manner, because they have spent their lives defending the most just cause known to modern human history.

Archbishop Hanna added: ‘We hope that the Palestinian banks will correct this serious mistake, that matters will return to normal, and that they will treat humanely and with dignity these heroes whom it is a duty to embrace, help, and support, especially in these difficult circumstances, and not to submit to anti-Palestinian dictates.

He added: ‘The submission of some of the banks to the Israeli and American pressures was a shock to our Palestinian people, and we hope that these banks will consider this in advance, because stopping the released prisoners’ salaries is an immoral and inhumane act, in addition to the fact that it is inconsistent with the national interests and the great sacrifices that our heroic prisoners have made.’”

 

Israeli army legislation which applies parts of Israel's 2016 Anti-Terror Law to the West Bank (taking effect on May 9, 2020). The law prohibits numerous terror related offenses, including terror funding/rewarding and holds heads of terror organizations responsible for murder committed by members of the organization. The law criminalizes the provision of funds for or the payment of rewards for the commission of terrorist offenses, such as the salaries the PA pays to terrorist prisoners and released prisoners. The provision also applies to any person or body - such as a bank - that facilitates such funding or rewarding of terror offenses. Based on this last provision, PMW sent letters in April 2020 to the heads of banks in the PA areas warning them that they must freeze the accounts of terrorists and their proxies and transfer them to the Israeli army or face legal consequences.