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Shtayyeh: We will not stop paying prisoners and “Martyrs”

“In a speech at the start of [the PA government’s weekly] meeting, [PA] Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh said that Israel is required to stop the aggression against our people, the killing, the settlement enterprise, and the theft of our money (refers to Israel’s Anti “Pay-for-Slay” Law to deduct PA terror salaries; see note below -Ed.), and to return to the path whose title is ending the occupation in accordance with the resolutions of the international institutions and international law.

He added: ‘The talk about returning the money on condition that we stop our steps in the international organizations – this is something that will not happen. We are continuing this. So too regarding stopping the payments to the families of the Martyrs and the prisoners by the PA – this will not happen either. [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas – and us after him – has expressed this position on many opportunities.’

He emphasized that the money being held by Israel is our money, and that Israel must transfer it to us without extortion or conditions. He also said that our people is very familiar with the facts and rejects this extortion.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 11, 2023]

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. During the parliamentary vote, 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] In accordance with the law, as of September 2021 Israel’s Security Cabinet had ordered the freeze of 1.857 billion shekels ($580.15 million) - the sum equivalent to the PA payments to terrorists in 2018, 2019, and 2020.

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