The decision comes after the PA spread wild accusations that Israel is trying to infect Palestinians with coronavirus.
By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News
The Israeli government has decided against a half-billion-shekel transfer to the Palestinian Authority (PA) in light of its outrageous accusations that the Jewish state is facilitating the spread of the coronavirus among its people, Israel Hayom reported Tuesday.
Jerusalem was furious that for the second time this month the PA sent a letter to the United Nations Security Council with a list of claims that Israel is not only preventing the Authority from helping contain the virus, it is actively trying to infect Palestinians.
The missive sent last week said that IDF soldiers threw medical waste into PA villages and forced Palestinian workers to return to the Authority via drainage pipes rather than the regular crossings where they are tested for the virus.
On April 2, it charged IDF soldiers with spitting at door handles of Palestinian cars in order to infect their owners.
On Friday, Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Major General Kamil Abu Rukun, warned of possible repercussions when he called upon the Palestinian leadership to “retract its baseless declarations.” They had “crossed a red line and disparaged the enormous efforts that Israel is making in the face of the shared challenge and crisis besetting the entire region,” he said.
COGAT has sent thousands of test kits, protective suits and other medical equipment to the PA and even to the Hamas-run Gaza Strip in an effort to help them contain the deadly pandemic. Israeli doctors have spent hours training their Palestinian counterparts in hospital treatment of those who have fallen ill.
And tens of thousands of Palestinian workers have been allowed to continue their jobs in Israel while most of the country has been shut down.
The additional Israeli economic assistance, in the form of an advance on tax revenues Israel passes along to the PA, was announced last week by the PA finance minister. Its cancellation will further hurt the Authority, which has been in a deep financial hole since Israel decided last year to withhold tax funds in the amount that the PA pays to jailed terrorists and their families.
Meanwhile, a new law is set to take effect next month applying sections of Israel’s Anti-Terror Law to Judea and Samaria. Anyone who makes a transaction that facilitates or rewards a terror-related offense can be imprisoned for up to 10 years and fined.
This means that if banks allow the PA to transfer money to the accounts of terrorist prisoners or their families, the heads of those banks could be held personally liable and the institutions sued by terror victims.
Palestinian Media Watch sent letters to Arab banks throughout Judea and Samaria warning them of the repercussions if they didn’t comply with the law. Banks “must order the immediate freeze of those accounts and the transfer of their contents to the IDF Military Commander for Judea and Samaria,” the letter said.