The Palestinian Authority (PA) Ramallah-based cabinet on Wednesday condemned the Knesset's decision to further advance the law to withhold terrorist salaries from tax revenues Israel transfers to the PA.
Yusuf al-Mahmoud, a spokesman for the PA government, said the law amounts to "stealing" the money of the Palestinian people and causes damage to "national symbols and symbols of the defense of freedom and dignity."
He stressed that the PA government does not intend to renounce the prisoners serving time in Israel and will continue to support them.
The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee earlier on Wednesday approved the bill for its second and third readings in the Knesset.
The bill was approved by the committee without the clause requested by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman that conditions the withholding on a decision of the political-security cabinet.
The PA regularly pays terrorists who are imprisoned in Israel, as well as families of dead terrorists who carried out attacks against Israelis. The PA policy of paying higher salaries to terrorists serving longer sentences means that the more heinous the and deadly the terror attack, the more the terrorist is rewarded by the PA for committing murder.
According to Palestinian Authority figures, the monthly allowance per prisoner is higher than that of an active member of the PA security forces. The PA budget for payments to terrorists in Israeli prisons skyrocketed to $158 million in 2017.
Despite calls from both Israel and the United States to stop the practice of paying terrorists, PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly stressed that “families of the martyrs will continue to receive their allowances in full."