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Israel to deduct prisoners’ compensation from PA tax budget

Palestinians hold placards during a sit-in in support of Palestinian hunger-striking prisoners held in Israeli jails, on 21 May, 2017, in the West Bank city of Nablus [Ayman Ameen/Apaimages]
Palestinians hold placards during a sit-in in support of Palestinian hunger-striking prisoners held in Israeli jails, on 21 May, 2017, in the West Bank city of Nablus [Ayman Ameen/Apaimages]

The Israeli Ministerial Committee for Legislation yesterday approved a bill to deduct tax funds paid to the Palestinian Authority equal to salaries paid to the families of wounded Palestinian and those held in Israeli jails.

The government coalition tried to postpone the vote on the draft law but the party leaders decided to submit it to the ministerial committee for a vote.

The bill, proposed by Member of the Knesset, Elazar Stern, will be approved this week in a preliminary reading, but will not be advanced in the Knesset until it is merged into a government bill that is to be prepared on the subject.

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Coalition Chairman, David Bitan, sought to postpone the discussion of the bill and vote citing the existence of legal gaps that must be settled before the vote.

The bill alleges that the PA violates the Oslo agreement by transferring funds to the families of prisoners or martyrs.

According to Israeli media, opposition groups have said: “We recommend not to harm tax revenues collected by the Israeli authorities in order not to harm President Mahmoud Abbas and weakening his position which would lead to deteriorating the situation in the West Bank and the PA’s collapse.”

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