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Palestinian banks pay terrorist's salaries 3 month in advance, buying authorities time to implement new method of payment

Headline: “Palestine is paying the prisoners’ allowances before Israel imposes sanctions on the banks”



“On Tuesday [Dec. 29, 2020], the Palestinian [PA] government transferred the prisoners’ monthly allowances to their bank accounts for the months of December [2020] until February 2021, in order to avoid the ultimatum that Israel placed before the banks before imposing sanctions on them if they continue to be connected with them (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 extension that Israel gave the banks that are active in the Palestinian market (of which there are 13) [parentheses in source] to stop any banking activity with the released prisoners (sic., all terrorists, including terrorist prisoners still in jail) will end on Dec. 31, which caused the banks to gradually close their accounts a number of months ago.

Director of [PLO] Commission of Prisoners and Released Prisoners’ Affairs Qadri Abu Bakr said that the government paid the released prisoners (sic., also terrorist prisoners still in jail, the families of dead terrorists, and the wounded terrorists) allowances for three months (this December and January and February 2021) [parentheses in source] today, until a channel is found to pay their allowances.

Abu Bakr told a reporter of [the Turkish state-run news agency] Anadolu in a phone conversation that the decision to pay for three months gives the government time to decide on an appropriate mechanism that will protect the released prisoners’ rights (sic., also the rights of terrorist prisoners still in jail, the families of dead terrorists, and the wounded terrorists) on everything regarding the transfer of the monthly payments to which they are eligible, without any pressures…

According to Abu Bakr, the number of accounts of the released prisoners stands at 7,500, and the overall cost of the prisoners and released prisoners’ [salaries] is approximately 50 million [Israeli] shekels ($15.6 million) per month…

In May [2020], the Palestinian government sped up the implementation of an old-new idea: Establishing a state bank, one of whose roles will be to transfer the payments to the prisoners and the Martyrs’ families instead of via the [other] banks, but this body is still in the process of being established.”

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.