Photo Credit: Marc Müller via Wikimedia
Saeb Erekat with a friend

Palestinian Authority leaders slammed the passage of a new Israeli law that would deduct tax funds transferred to the Palestinian Authority (PA) over their policy of paying convicted terrorists and their families for carrying out attacks known as “pay to slay.”

“This is a declaration of war on the Palestinian people,” said PA spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudaineh.

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He added that the PA considers this a “declaration of war against the Palestinian people, their fighters, prisoners and martyrs.”

Similarly, Saeb Erekat, secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said that the law amounted to “piracy and theft.”

“This is a very dangerous decision that amounts to the cancellation of the Palestinian Authority, and is piracy and theft,” Erekat told AFP. “Israel is stealing the land and money of the Palestinian people, and that is a result of the decisions of [U.S.] President [Donald] Trump, who supports Israel.”

Earlier this year, the United States passed the Taylor Force Act, which similarly ends American aid to the P.A. until it ends its “pay to slay” policy.

The PA said it would file complaints against Israel at the International Criminal Court and U.N. Security Council.

Each year, Israel transfers NIS 8.5 billion (more than $2.4 billion) in tax payments. The P.A. budget this year is NIS 18.5 billion ($5.2 billion). In its 2018 budget, the P.A. allocated $360 million for the Prisoners and Martyrs Fund, which disperses payment to imprisoned terrorists, released terrorists and the families of dead terrorists.

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