Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas warned on Saturday against Israeli excavations in Jerusalem, stressing that the Palestinian Arabs must prevent the continuation of this work in the "eternal capital of Palestine."
Speaking at the start of a meeting in Ramallah of the Fatah Central Committee, Abbas said once again that the Palestinians will never agree to the “Deal of the Century”, the American initiative to resolve the conflict, nor will they agree to Israel’s offsetting of the PA’s payments to terrorists from the tax money it collects on behalf of the PA.
Abbas said that if the Palestinians agreed to the offsetting of the money, that would symbolize renunciation of the "holy of holies" – meaning the shaheeds, the wounded and the prisoners.
Immediately after Israel announced it would offset the terrorist salaries from the PA tax money, the PA announced it would not take the partial sum of the funds from Israel.
Abbas later reiterated that he would not accept partial payment of tax transfers owed by Israel and also stressed that he would not end the financial support for the families of terrorists imprisoned or eliminated by Israel.
The PA’s refusal to accept Israel’s tax money has resulted in a worsening economic crisis.
The PA has repeatedly asked for foreign donations in recent years even as it continues to spend six percent of its annual budget to pay $4.5 million a month to jailed terrorists and another $6.5 million to their families.