Mohammad Shtayyeh
Mohammad Shtayyeh Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash 90

Palestinian Authority (PA) cabinet leader Mohammad Shtayyeh said on Monday that Israel's decision to offset the salaries of Palestinian Arab terrorist prisoners and their families from the tax money it transfers to the PA requires an appropriate response from the Palestinian Arabs.

Israel's Security Cabinet on Sunday approved Defense Minister Naftali Bennett's proposal to cut 149 million shekels ($43 million) from the tax funds that Israel transfers to the PA, which is the sum that the PA paid to terrorist families last year.

Speaking Monday at a PA cabinet meeting in Ramallah, Shtayyeh said that Israel is striving to impair the PA's ability to achieve economic prosperity.

He also accused Israel of an escalation in the wake of its announcement of the construction of 2,000 new housing units in Judea and Samaria and the beginning of gradual annexation of “Palestinian land”. These measures, stressed Shtayyeh, are "war crimes".

Regarding the PA parliamentary and presidential elections, Shtayyeh said that the PA is still awaiting Israel's response to its request to hold the elections in eastern Jerusalem. He said the delay in Israel's response is intentional and therefore the international community must pressure it on this issue.

Shtayyeh also attacked the pending agreement between Israel and Hamas which he described as "a plan designed to split the Palestinian camp and split between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip."