Banks operating in the Palestinian Authority have started closing bank accounts of Palestinian Arab terrorist prisoners in response to a warning by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW).
PMW’s recent letter warned bank officials that failing to close the accounts could result in potential criminal and civil action for aiding and abetting the payment of the PA’s terror rewards to terrorist prisoners when Israeli legislation regarding this procedure is applied in two days. In recent days different Arab media outlets have reported that some banks active in the PA are already rushing to close the accounts of terrorist prisoners and released prisoners before the new law takes effect.
PMW stated that its warning letter "informed the banks of the new Israeli legislation that explicitly criminalizes the PA’s salary payments to the terrorist prisoners and also prohibits facilitating the payment of these rewards for terror. In the letter, PMW warned the banks of the legal repercussions they would face."
"Based on the speed by which the PA banks are responding to PMW’s letter, it seems that PMW accurately identified the banks as the weak link in the PA’s terror reward program. Many of these banks are foreign banks that conduct business internationally and would not want to be tainted by the threat of criminal or civil proceedings for supporting terrorism."
The reports about the banks closing accounts of the terrorist prisoners did not appear in the official PA-controlled media, but rather appeared in independent Arab news sources.
PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs spokesman, Hassan Abd Rabbo, confirmed that families of terrorists are already complaining that their bank accounts have been closed and he also confirmed that the PA is holding discussions about this new crisis.