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PA Civil Affairs Head: Salaries of prisoners and Martyrs will be paid “at all costs”

Text posted on the Facebook page of Fatah Central Committee member and Head of Civil Affairs in the PA Hussein Al-Sheikh on Oct. 4, 2019; Text in Arabic also appeared in the PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida on Oct. 5, 2019

Text posted in English and Arabic: “(All errors in source –Ed.) On Thursday 3rd of October 2019, I have met with the #Israeli Minister of #Finance [Moshe Kahlon] and have discussed all outstanding issues. We have reached an agreement to activate joint committees to examine all issues which will commence their duties next Sunday. The agreement was also on transferring a payment from the #PA’s financial dues. The dispute remains over the salaries of the families of #prisoners and #martyrs (refers to Israel’s Anti “Pay-for-Slay” Law to deduct terror salaries; see note below –Ed.). We are determined to pay their dues at all costs.”

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]