Palestinian leader vows to keep paying attackers' families

Lester Mason
July 11, 2018

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Sunday he will continue to pay stipends to Palestinian attackers and their families, in spite of the Israeli parliament's decision to withhold tax funds collected on the PA's behalf.

At least 136 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops during mass demonstrations along the Gaza border since March 30 and the Gazans sending the kites over the fence believe they have found an effective new weapon.

Since the Oslo agreement, Israel is responsible for a large part of Palestinian tax collection, notably duties for goods imported and exported from Palestinian territories.

But, Abbas affirmed to his party that the Palestinian Authority would continue to pay "our martyrs and prisoners and wounded people" as it had since 1965, despite the slash to hundreds of millions of dollars in funding.

Israel has demanded the return of two Israeli civilians who it says crossed into Gaza and are being held by Hamas, as well as the bodies of two soldiers who were killed in a 2014 war.

"We will not allow anyone to interfere with the money that Israel is against us paying to the families of martyrs and prisoners", he said, according to a transcript from a state-run media outlet.

Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, said last month that the administration would soon present its Israeli-Palestinian peace plan whether or not it had Abbas's support. The Israeli government now has control over the Palestinian stipend allocation as part of an existing peace agreement between the two nations.

"We are watching and are waiting and we will take the appropriate measures that suit our interest", Abbas said in a follow-up statement on Sunday.

Most of these jailed Palestinians who benefit from the payment are tried through Israeli military courts, which has a almost 100 percent conviction rate of Palestinians.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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