EU donates 15 million to PA budget, following PA financial crisis due to implementation of Israeli anti-terror-salaries law
Headline: "The European Union has donated 15 million euros for the payment of the May salaries of the employees and pensioners"
"The European Union (EU) has donated the sum of 15 million euros for the payment of the May salaries and pensions of approximately 56,000 public employees and pensioners in the West Bank as part of the direct financial support for the Palestinian [PA] budget.
Deputy EU Representative Tomas Niklasson: 'We understand the financial crisis that the Palestinians are experiencing (due to their refusal to accept any tax money collected for them by Israel in response to Israel's Anti "Pay-for-Slay" Law to deduct terror salaries; see note below –Ed.), and the humanitarian, social, and security consequences liable to result from this.'
He added: 'The EU has been in contact with both sides and we have expressed our clear expectations that the governmental economic and financial agreements between the Israeli and Palestinian sides must continue to be fully implemented, including the Israeli obligations according to the Paris Protocol (i.e., the Paris Agreement; see note below).'
He emphasized that this aid is a clear message regarding the EU's strong commitment to the Palestinian people at this difficult time."
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]
Paris Agreement – agreement on economic relations between Israel and the PLO, signed in Paris on April 29, 1994. Its main goal is to promote peace by establishing economic relations modeled on EU economic relations.