Photo Credit: Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90
Two gunmen attended the funeral of two terrorists killed in an Israeli airstrike in Jenin, October 27, 2023.

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich on Sunday sent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a letter with the subject head: “Termination of the transfer of tax money to the Palestinian Authority.” I translated the whole thing so you won’t have to:

1. By the Oslo Accords, the State of Israel collects taxes for the Palestinian Authority, and transfers it to the PA each month, minus payment for various services such as electricity, water, etc. Some of the levies are for goods that are sent to Gaza.


2. After the terrible massacre that was carried out by Hamas in the communities surrounding Gaza on the Black Shabbat, the Palestinian Authority did not find it appropriate to renounce these barbaric acts, and senior PA officials even expressed their support for that horrific massacre.

3. In addition, the Palestinian Authority conducts anti-Israel activities at the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice. Among other things, the PA’s Foreign Minister has approached the chief prosecutor of the court demanding that the court “stop the Israeli aggression” and “prosecute the Israeli war criminals”.

4. With this behavior, the Palestinian Authority once again proved the fact, which we have been shouting about for years, that it is a terror-supporting organization. Therefore, and beyond the connection of these funds reaching the Gaza Strip and its residents, these funds are being used against the State of Israel and its citizens.

5. It is inconceivable that in this reality we would continue to transfer said funds as if nothing has happened. Accordingly, I would like to inform you that I have instructed the Finance Ministry to stop the transfer of payments this month. At the same time, I will ask you to bring the issue to an urgent discussion in the political-security cabinet.

6. Enclosed is an appendix with a list of statements from senior PA officials from the last few days.

Bezalel Smotrich
Minister of Finance

Smotrich’s letter to Netanyahu October 29, 2023. / Courtesy

Here are some of the statements that were added to Smotrich’s letter:

The official PA channel, Palestine TV, on October 7, 2023: “Today Gaza landed a blow that the occupation will not forget… Today we stood up united…”

Mohammad Dahlan, senior PLO official, the former PA leader of the Gaza Strip, October 7, 2023: “What is happening in Gaza is a result of the violence of the occupation and the Ben Gvir-Smotrich gang, and the major crimes which are committed every day in Jerusalem and the settlements. The world must mobilize every possible effort to deter the occupation from carrying out major crimes.”

PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, October 8, 2023: “What happened yesterday happened yesterday… Israel is to blame for the situation… we should concentrate on the dead Palestinians, what we saw in Gaza is a criminal act. The Palestinian tragedy began in 1948, and we cried out and called…” On October 29, the PA PM said: “Hamas is a central part of the Palestinian political landscape. We are working to achieve unity, under the guidance of Chief Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas).”

Fatah Revolutionary Council Member Jamal Al-Huwail, October 8, 2023: “The West Bank will surprise everyone, inshallah, maybe we will see more such sights (like the massacre) in the West Bank… I call on all our brothers and colleagues, Fatah members, to act like Yasser Arafat, Marwan Barghouti (Fatah senior leader in Israeli prison), and Abu Jihad (Fatah senior leader Khalil al-Wazir who was assassinated in Tunisia in 1988), and all the leaders who fired the first bullet to mark our national identity… we must fight as Abu Jandal (Fatah leader killed in Jenin in 2000) and his force 17 fought together with Yasser Arafat, we must rise and win for the honor of the Palestinian people.”

Let’s see if Bibi runs this list by Biden and gets his approval…

Update: The US has asked Netanyahu to unfreeze the payments, according to a Walla report.

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