Israeli cash. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90) Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90

A Palestinian official absurdly claimed that Israel agreed to collect taxes for the PA, and then let the Palestinians use the revenues to reward terrorists who attack Israeli civilians.

By United With Israel Staff 

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has announced its intention to begin international arbitration proceedings regarding the tax revenues Israel collects and transfers to the PA, reports Palestinian Media Watch (PMW).

Israel has been withholding a sum of money equal to the finances which the PA pays out to terrorists and their families. The Israeli government’s action is being carried out in accordance with a law passed by the Israeli parliament, the Knesset.

Meanwhile, the PA’s finance minister, Shukri Bishara, “chose to obfuscate reality presenting a financial picture that has little to do with real facts, but rather simply reinforces the PA narrative,” says PMW, an Israeli research group.

According to PMW, “comprehensive statistics” from Israel’s Finance Ministry which “show that Bishara’s claims are outrageous.”

Specifically, Bishara claimed that the original financial accord between Israel and the Palestinians “includes allowances for the families of Palestinians killed or imprisoned by Israel,” some of whom are terrorists who harmed and even killed Israeli civilians.

In other words, says the Israeli watchdog, “Bishara is claiming that Israel specifically agreed to the PA using the tax revenues that Israel collects and transfers to the PA to incentivize and reward the terrorists attacking Israel.”

Israel would never have agreed to this, PMW notes. The PA’s “pay-for-slay” policy, as it is commonly known, entails paying monthly salaries to terrorist prisoners and released prisoners, and allowances to wounded terrorists and the families of dead terrorists.

The program “stands at the base of the PA’s current financial crisis,” PMW charges.

Knesset legislation penalizes the Palestinians for this practice by deducting funds in the amount of annual pay-for-slay payments.

Based on an Israeli Defense Ministry report compiled as required by the law, says PMW, the security cabinet decided to deduct NIS 502 million from the 2019 PA tax revenues in 12 equal parts, as prescribed by the law, totaling almost 42 million shekels a month. This sum was deducted from the tax income which, on average in 2018, was 670 million shekels, the watchdog adds.

In response, the PA decided to refuse to accept any of the tax revenues and “plunge the entire PA into a self-inflicted financial crisis,” says PMW.

The Israeli research institute notes that “just recently, the PA finally agreed to accept NIS 2 billion of the funds that had accrued as a result of their refusal to accept them.”

However, in conclusion, PMW charges that “while Bishara can dictate a false narrative of ‘Palestinian victimhood’ to [the Palestinian media]…it is nothing more than what Mark Twain and others might have categorized as ‘lies, damn lies, and statistics,'” and the group says that it “hopes that the information provided above will assist those interested in seeing the full – and true – picture.”