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PA attacks PMW quotes in Israeli daily article as “incitement and racism”

Headline: “Report monitoring the incitement and racism in the Israeli media”

The following is an excerpt of a periodic report published by the official PA news agency WAFA on alleged “incitement and racism” in Israeli media for the period of Feb. 21-27, 2021 -Ed.

“The Israeli media is continuing to incite against the Martyrs and prisoners. It is constantly demanding to deduct the salaries that are being paid to them from the tax revenue that is being transferred [by Israel] to the PA, and to act decisively on this issue (refers to Israel’s Anti “Pay-for-Slay” Law to deduct PA terror salaries; see note below -Ed.). An article was published in the [Israeli] paper Israel Hayom [on Feb. 21, 2021,] whose title is ‘ Despite the Crisis: The PA is Continuing to Pay Terrorists’ (refers to an article presenting PMW’s findings on the PA’s ongoing policy of terror reward in 2020 despite the Coronavirus pandemic -Ed.). The article claimed: ‘There was no reduction in the allowances paid to murderers, terrorists, and relatives of attackers who died. The amount that the PA set aside for this stands at 512 million [Israeli] shekels at least, which is 3.25% of the overall [PA] budget.’

The article also claimed: ‘The committee is delaying this year [2021] as well in implementing the law deducting the terrorists’ salaries. [Israeli] Minister of Defense [Benny Gantz] is continuing to violate the law, which necessitated having a petition submitted against him at the High Court of Justice in order to put an end to the PA payments to terrorists’ (the previous is an altered version of a quote by PMW Director of Legal Strategies Maurice Hirsch appearing in the article; for the actual quote see note below -Ed.).

The article attacked what it called ‘the international donors’ willingness to provide the PA with hundreds of millions of euros annually, while the PA is continuing to incentivize and fund murderers.’ The article also claimed that this is ‘the most significant factor for Palestinian terror continuing to flourish’ (the previous is a quote by PMW Director Itamar Marcus appearing in the article -Ed.).”

The actual quote by PMW Director of Legal Strategies Maurice Hirsch in the Feb. 21, 2021 Israel Hayom article is as follows: “ [Israeli] Minister of Defense [Benny Gantz] is continuing to violate the law and is not publishing the report that he submitted last year, to the point that we were forced to submit a petition against him at the High Court of Justice. We must put an end to the PA’s payments to terrorists.”

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. During the parliamentary vote, 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] In accordance with the law, as of September 2021 Israel’s Security Cabinet had ordered the freeze of 1.857 billion shekels ($580.15 million) - the sum equivalent to the PA payments to terrorists in 2018, 2019, and 2020.