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PA deputy PM: “We demand… that not one penny be deducted from the money of the prisoners and Martyrs”

Headline: “Abu Rudeina: We have not appointed anyone to speak on behalf of Palestine”

“[PA] Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Information Nabil Abu Rudeina said… yesterday [May 2, 2019] during a press conference at the Ministry of Information headquarters in Ramallah… that there is an Israeli attempt to bypass the issues of the seized and stolen Palestinian money, and there are several proposals (apparently refers to EU proposal to reorganize PA terror salaries into welfare payments; see note below -Ed.) that are unacceptable because they harm the principle that we demand, which is that not one penny be deducted from the money of the prisoners and Martyrs (refers to Israeli Anti “Pay-for-Slay” Law to deduct terrorist salaries; see note below –Ed.), regardless of the temptations. He exposed some of the proposals that were suggested by a number of bodies and that are consistent with the Israeli attempts, which we will never accept. He said: ‘There are Israeli attempts to bypass the rights of the Martyrs and prisoners and we will not agree to any type of deduction. We have received proposals from a number of bodies whose names we do not want to say, and they are consistent with the Israeli attempts, which we will never accept.’”

EU proposal of welfare rather than terror salaries - an EU official made a proposal to the PA, in response to the PA financial crisis caused by its refusal to accept any tax money collected for it by Israel if terrorist salaries are deducted from it through Israel’s Anti “Pay-For-Slay” Law. On April 30, 2019, the EU official proposed reorganizing the PA payments to terrorists and their families as needs based welfare payments, rather than as direct payments for engaging in terror that increase according to the severity of the attack, and claimed this would remove any financial incentive for terrorism. The PA has rejected the proposal.

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]