“We must continue to pay and to ensure the allowances of the prisoners and their family members,” said a PA official.
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
The Palestinian Authority’s pay-for-slay policy, in which it pays salaries to prisoners convicted of terror offenses against Israeli citizens, has drawn international ire.
Israeli law permits the Jewish State to deduct terror payments from the taxes it collects on the behalf of the PA and freezing accounts linked to prisoners, putting a serious economic strain on Palestinian banks.
In 2018, former president Donald Trump cut off aid to the PA, stating that financial support would only be resumed if they agreed to abandon the pay-for-slay practice.
And as the PA seeks to strengthen ties with the Biden administration, officials have publicly downplayed the practice and suggested that a solution could be found to end the practice.
But according to a report from watchdog group Palestinian Media Watch, what the PA is telling the international community is in stark contrast to promises it’s giving to its constituents.
“Our position regarding the payment of the salaries and allowances of the prisoners and their families is firm,” read a July Facebook post from the PLO’s Prisoner Affairs Commission.
“This is their right, and it is anchored in all the international conventions and treaties, because our prisoners are prisoners of a liberation movement and freedom fighters.”
“Since [the start of] the Israeli threats and pressures on the banks that are active in Palestine, the position has been clear: We must continue to pay and to ensure the allowances of the prisoners and their family members,” read a July statement published in the PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida.
On an official PA TV news broadcast, Minister of Communications and IT Is’haq Sidr explained that there was a new system in place via private ATMS not linked to specific banks, which would allow the families of prisoners to collect payments.
“We have activated an entire banking mechanism here that is a cash management system that transfers data between us and the ATMs,” he said.
“We have installed 20 ATMs in the residential areas where the beneficiaries of these services are located, and Allah willing we will reach 30 ATMs in the coming days.”