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PA Minister of Finance announces terrorist prisoners and “Martyrs” have been paid in full, public employees take pay cuts

PA Minister of Finance and Planning Shukri Bishara: "The salaries [of public employees] will be paid in full, all of the salaries under 2,000 shekels... In practice 40% of the PA's employees, who are the dynamo engine of the economy, will receive their salaries in full, at 100%, because nearly 40% of the PA's employees receive less than 2,000 [shekels]... Today, we will pay no less than 50% of the salaries… We have placed an upper limit of 10,000 shekels for the top of the pay scale of those receiving a maximum of 10,000 shekels - the honored ministers and their like. The burden of sacrifice and the burden of compromise falls on the top salaries... At the beginning of the month [March 2019]... the salaries were transferred in full to the prisoners, the wounded, and the Martyrs according to the orders of His Honor President [Abbas]. This is one of the national principles which no force on earth can make us deviate from."

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, and its first implementation was approved by Israel's Security Cabinet on Feb. 17, 2019, when it decided to withhold 502,697,000 Israeli shekels (approximately $138 million) from the PA. In response, the PA announced it would not accept any of the tax money collected by Israel unless it also included the frozen amount. During the initial parliamentary vote in 2018, 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]

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