Abbas spokesman warns Israel of 'repercussions'

PA chairman's spokesman blasts Israel’s decision to implement the policy to offset the PA’s payments to terrorists.

Elad Benari ,

Nabil Abu Rudeineh
Nabil Abu Rudeineh

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ spokesman on Sunday warned of “repercussions” from Israel’s decision earlier in the day to implement the policy to offset the PA’s payments to terrorists.

Under the law passed by the Knesset in July 2018, 507,697,000 shekels ($140,350,300) in tax revenue will be withheld from the PA.

“Any deduction from the Palestinian clearing funds is totally rejected and is considered a piracy of the Palestinian people's money,” said Abbas’ spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, in a statement quoted by the Wafa news agency.

“The firm position of the President in which he affirmed that we will not accept any harm to the livelihood of our imprisoned heroes and the families of martyrs and wounded," said Abu Rudeineh.

"We consider this arbitrary Israeli decision to be a one-sided blow to the signed agreements, including the Paris Protocols," he continued.

Abu Rudeineh warned that the Israeli decision “will have serious repercussions at all levels and will be given a priority at the meeting of the leadership led by the President during the coming days."

The political-security Cabinet decided earlier on Sunday to implement the move.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who also serves as Defense Minister, instructed the security forces to examine further payments that the PA pays in connection with terrorism to terrorists and their families.

PA officials have remained defiant and have made clear that the PA will never cease paying terrorists' salaries, threatening that Netanyahu would have to pay more if the salaries were deducted from the payments to the PA.

Abbas has in the past called the PA's continued payments to terrorists a "red line" that would not be halted under any circumstances.