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Abbas on Israeli tax cuts due to terror salaries: “We will in no way agree to accept money that is cut even slightly”

Official PA TV, Facebook  |

Video posted on the official PA TV Facebook page, speech by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to the PA government

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: “First, what happened again is a financial crisis created by the government of Israel, which decided to deduct the money of the Martyrs, prisoners, and wounded (referring to the Anti “Pay-for-Slay” Law to deduct terror salaries; see note below –Ed.). Naturally, our position was and will remain clear in that we will in no way agree to accept money that is cut even slightly, and especially the Martyrs’ money and additional money between us and [Israel]. In other words, there are bills between us that are connected to electricity, water, and the like – that are connected to services provided to Gaza. Israel deducts this money, deducts or steals with no dialogue, knowing that there are official agreements, and mainly the Paris Agreement (see note below –Ed.), and that every penny that is deducted or paid must be agreed on by professional teams, economic teams, and such, in order to discuss every clause and even to agree or not agree about it. Of course the present circumstances have led us to not being able to pay salaries in full, and Allah willing, our people [will have] to bear this a bit and be a bit patient…"

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.