The Palestinian Authority says it reached an agreement with Israel to deposit tax funds withheld to stop Palestinians from incentivizing murder and other violent crimes with terror stipends.
By World Israel News and AP
Israel began this year withholding parts of some $200 million in monthly tax transfers because the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) uses the funds to pay terrorists and the families of criminals killed committing acts of terror.
Israel passed a law sanctioning the practice to stop the P.A. from financially incentivizing violent crimes against Israeli civilians. After Israel enforced the law, deducting funds equal to the amounts the P.A. used to pay terrorists and their families, the P.A. refused to accept the balance of revenues after sums equal to terror salaries were deducted.
Under Thursday’s agreement, the Palestinians say Israel will stop collecting about $60 million in monthly fuel taxes and allow the Palestinians to collect the funds directly.
Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayeh says the additional revenue will ease a financial crisis and allow him to slightly increase civil servants’ partial salary payments.
The announcement regarding tax funds arrives just days after P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas fired all of his advisers over massive illegal pay increases and disguised bonuses that outraged the Palestinian public.
The U.S. enacted similar anti-terror legislation called the Taylor Force Act, under which a significant amount of American aid can be cut if the P.A. refuses to stop paying salaries to terrorist prisoners and their families.
In the past, the P.A. has used both subterfuge and open payments to reward imprisoned terrorists and the families of those eliminated while committing their crimes.
Following the Taylor Force Act’s enactment, the P.A. announced it would make the payments directly, thereby conforming to Israel’s criteria for designation as a terror organization.