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Criticism of suffering caused to Palestinians by PA refusing tax money from Israel

Text posted on a closed Facebook group called “State of Palestine Salaries and Promotions – Official Page” 

 

Posted text: “The refusal to accept the tax money did not create pressure on Israel, but rather imposed sanctions on us (refers to PA’s response to Israel’s Anti “Pay-for-Slay” Law to deduct PA terror salaries; see note below –Ed.) 

The editor in chief of [the Palestinian news agency] Sada News wrote: ‘The salaries of the [PA] public sector employees are the supporting pillar of the Palestinian economy, and the prime engine of the economy. The best example of this is the market behavior during the delay of the salary payments, which turned to rubble! Therefore it can be said that these salaries do not just affect the economic sphere, but rather they pass through to security and political spheres. Every salary crisis will lead to an economic crisis, which, when it worsens, will reach the point of a security and political crisis.’ … 

The Palestinian banks can no longer give loans to the PA, particularly after the PA borrowed from a number of banks last month [August 2020], because no bank could have fixed this [by themselves].  

There is also a near stoppage of the international support, and an absence of Arab support and provision of ‘the safety net,’ excluding Algeria which has not stopped supporting the PA coffers.  

All of these factors are quickly leading to the PA’s economic collapse and an economic crisis whose result is unknown to all… 

Many of the senior Palestinian officials have declared that the reason for rejecting the tax money is that it is part of the Paris Agreement (see note below –Ed.), and accepting the tax money means breaking the PLO decision to annul all the types of relations with the occupation, including civilian and security coordination... 

It appears that the decision to refuse to accept the tax payments was mistaken, because if so then why is there coordination at the crossings with the other side in order to go out and travel abroad, and there are also those who fly via the Ben Gurion (Lod) Airport – and we are not coordinating on a very important economic topic that affects everyone in various aspects? Why are we leaving our people’s money in the hands of the occupation [Israel]? 

The decision to reject the tax money is causing real suffering for our people, and it has an effect on the Palestinian citizens. But have all the means of opposing the occupation and confronting the annexation decision been exhausted, and all that remains is economic suicide?” 

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.