The Palestinian Authority (PA) announced Tuesday it will now ignore fines imposed by Israeli military courts on Arab prisoners as compensation for terrorist attacks, in a breach of agreements of cooperation.
PA Committee of Prisoners' Affairs chairman Issa Karake claimed Tuesday that the military courts started over a year ago imposing fines of up to tens of thousands of shekels against Arab terrorist prisoners as compensation for their attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians, reports the Palestinian Arab Ma'an News Agency.
Karake said the fines were "compensation to Israeli soldiers or settlers attacked during Palestinian resistance activities," and said lawyers had been notified not to accept plea bargains that include paying such fines.
"This is a dangerous policy and blackmail whose goal is to incriminate the legitimate Palestinian national struggle against occupation," said Karake in a justification of Arab terrorism.
Victimizing the terrorists, he elaborated "victims shouldn't pay a toll for defending their legal rights, and it's rather the occupier who should pay a toll for the ongoing occupation and aggression."
The move is the latest in a string of steps taken by the PA since Israel started withholding taxes collected for it, a response to the PA's unilateral lawsuit against Israel for "war crimes" at the International Criminal Court (ICC). The PA has threatened cancelling security cooperation as a reaction against the penalty.
In another move, 80% of Arab stores in Judea and Samaria announced Sunday they are boycotting Israeli food products, in a move aiming to oppose the withholding of taxes.
The PA's unilateral bid at the ICC is a breach of the 1993 Oslo Accords which created the PA.