PA Monetary Authority’ Governor resigns just in time for the Bank of Palestine to freeze terrorist’s accounts in compliance with Israeli law, leaving some suspicious of the former governor
Headline: “The banks have submitted to the occupation: The suspension of the prisoners’ accounts has begun”
“With the beginning of the new year, and in a surprising step, ‘Palestinian [PA] Monetary Authority’ Governor Azzam Al-Shawa, a resident of the Gaza Strip, announced his resignation ‘for personal reasons,’ according to an announcement by the ‘Monetary Authority.’ PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas accepted it quickly and declared the appointment of Fares Melhem, a resident of the occupied West Bank, to fill the governor’s position. Two days after the resignation and the new appointment, the first and largest Palestinian bank, ‘the Bank of Palestine,’ began to close the accounts of the prisoners in the Israeli enemy’s prison and their relatives.
There is a connection between this step and Al-Shawa’s dismissal, as the pressure that was exerted on him to resign was attributed by sources in the PA to his position opposing the closure of the prisoners’ accounts. The head of the ‘Monetary Authority’ has the authority to order the banks to stop cooperating with the enemy’s decision (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.) and recant from closing the accounts of the prisoners and the Martyrs’ [families], as these banks are operating according to ‘the Palestinian Banking Law’.
The step by ‘the Bank of Palestine’ was not the first taken by the banks; other banks closed accounts already last May  but did so quietly in [small] numbers with time intervals between them.
But what ‘the Bank of Palestine’ did at the beginning of the year was different. The sources revealed that behind the pressures that were exerted on Al-Shawa stand high-ranking senior officials in the PA who worked to renew the relations with the enemy last month [December 2020]…
The PA announced six months ago that it will establish a banking institution that will be subordinate to ‘the PLO,’ with which it will be able to pay their salaries in order to get the banks out of trouble… but Palestinian sources revealed that the measures to establish the bank hit difficulties due to… the possibility that the occupation will pressure it and the banks that will have connections with it, in addition to the possibility that the new bank will be persecuted, have its branches closed, and have its money confiscated.”
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.