PA to pay three months pay for slay salaries to terrorists
The Palestinian Authority (PA) intends to pay convicted terrorists three months worth of "salary" before the end of the year, according to Palestinian Media Watch (PMW).
The PA holds a practice of paying Palestinians that have committed terrorist acts against Israelis and monthly stipends to the families of the terrorists that died during the attack.
According to the report, a month's stipend for a jailed terrorist can be up to $3,470 a month. A new anti-terror law will be adopted in the West Bank, which will make the "pay for slay" stipends unlawful. The law will state that any person that makes a financial transaction which "supports, promotes, fund or rewards" terror activities will be subject to a prison sentence of up to 10 years.
This law was supposed to come into effect on May 9, 2020, in the West Bank.
Three weeks before the law was to come into effect, PMW warned banks of their liability if they were to continue payments to terrorists. The Association of Banks in Palestine wrote to the PA's Finance Minister to describe the consequences the banks will go through if they maintained accounts that make payments to terrorists.
“Based on the plenary session of the Association of Banks [in Palestine], all the banks hereby ask Your Honor to stop transferring any sums into these accounts," wrote the bank representatives. "The banks will transfer the balances in these accounts to the Ministry of Finance’s account.”
According to the official PA daily newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, “The council expressed its appreciation for the position of [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas, who always emphasizes that even if only one penny remains for us, we will pay it to the prisoners’ families. It also expressed its appreciation for the position of the [PA] government, which is working to continue paying our prisoners’ salaries and enable their families to live in dignity.”
In light of the coronavirus pandemic and the possibility of violence, Israel’s Minister of Defense Benny Gantz ordered to push the date of the law to October, and then pushed it off again to December 31, 2020.
The report states that while the banks are still refusing to process the payments to avoid legal prosecutions, the PA is currently attempting to set up a new bank through which it could make its payments. Named the “Independence Bank,” the PA intends to create a new Palestinian banking institution that would have no external banking connections.
Even though the new bank is not yet operational, Israel is no longer willing to delay implementation of the pay for slay law. As a result, the PA aims to pay a lump sum to terrorists before the law comes into effect this Thursday.
“Despite the international condemnation of the PA’s “Pay for Slay” policy, the PA is doing everything in its power to ensure the continued payment of the terror rewards," commented Director of Legal Strategies for PMW Maurice Hirsch.
Hirsch added: "While the PA has enough money to pay the terrorists three months in advance, just recently, it was the EU that contributed 76 million shekels – almost 20 million Euro, to support poor Palestinians. At the same time, Covid-19 pandemic is raging in the PA controlled areas. Instead of purchasing life- saving medical equipment, the PA is squandering tens of millions of shekels on rewarding terror."