Palestinian banks freeze terrorist’s accounts under new Israeli law. Palestinians express anger that there’s an “absence of any kind of solution for the payment of the salaries” to terrorists
Headline: “As of now there are no solutions for the prisoners’ salaries and the Independence Bank”
“The search continues for mechanisms to pay the salaries of the prisoners in the occupation’s prison and the released prisoners and to pay the allowances of the Martyrs’ families, after the Israeli military order came into effect determining that measures will be taken against the Palestinian banks if they continue to pay these salaries (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.)…
The implementation of the Israeli military order, in the shadow of the absence of an official Palestinian position or any kind of solution for the payment of the prisoners’ salaries other than through the banks, will turn the prisoners and the banks into victims of this order…
Recently a number of ideas have been raised in order to evade the Israeli military order, including appointing the released prisoners as employees in the PA institutions and turning the salaries of the prisoners in the occupation’s prison into allowances that will be paid through the [PA] Ministry of Welfare. A decision was made to establish the ‘Independence Bank’ as a national state bank in order to protect the banks from any kind of persecution by Israel.
As of now, no new instructions have been issued by the [PA] Monetary Authority on this matter in the shadow of the absence of an official position, which is liable to cause the banks to stand alone against the Israeli military order and any measure that will be taken as a result of it.
[The independent Palestinian news agency] Wattan contacted [PA] Government Spokesman Ibrahim Melhem to receive a response from him on the issue, but he did not answer the phone. Wattan also contacted the Monetary Authority to receive a response from it, but it did not respond and preferred to wait until an official position comes out on the issue.
The [PA-funded] Prisoners’ Club: No plan of any kind has been formulated yet
In response to this, Chairman of the Prisoners’ Club Qadura Fares told Wattan that ‘We will not allow the prisoners’ rights and salaries to be harmed.’ In order to avoid persecution by Israel, Fares explained that there will be a solution and that currently they are discussing many ideas on the matter, but no plan of any kind or solution for it has been formulated yet. He emphasized: ‘We cannot give statements regarding the ideas that we are discussing.’
The ‘Independence Bank’ is pending
Director of [PLO] Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Qadri Abu Bakr told Wattan… that one of the options is to establish the ‘Independence Bank,’ but it appears that this will be useless because there are threats by the occupation against the bank and against the banks that will have connections with it, and because it has not been given a license, which prevents its work from starting…
Released prisoner Ahmed Musaffer demanded to find quick solutions to absorb the [released] prisoners into the PA institutions, and to find quick solutions for the salaries of the prisoners who are in prison. Musaffer told Wattan that they met last week with the Prisoners’ Club, the Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs, and the [PA] presidential committee that was appointed to the matter in order to discuss possible solutions including the state ‘Independence Bank,’ but according to what they learned it will not be effective and will not operate…
He added: ‘We need to have a response within two days from the presidential committee and the [PA] Ministry of Finance, because [otherwise] we will begin to take steps on the ground, since [PA] President [Mahmoud Abbas] signed off on absorbing the released prisoners into the PA institutions and currently the names need to be transferred to the PA institutions.’
Musaffer expressed the absolute opposition of the prisoners and their relatives to transferring their salaries to the [PA] Ministry of Welfare.”
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.