RAMALLAH, June 11, 2018 (WAFA) – An Israeli law that allows the government to deduct welfare payments to families of Palestinian prisoners and those killed by Israelis is outright theft, Monday said Hanan Ashrawi, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
Ashrawi condemned the Israeli parliament’s adoption on Monday in the second and third reading of a draft law that would allow Israel to deduct the amount of the welfare payments from custom revenues transferred to the Palestinian government by Israel.
“Such a bill is an egregious violation of international law and international humanitarian law and constitutes a collective punishment of the Palestinian people other than being outright theft,” she said in a statement.
Israel, which controls all borders and movement in and out of the occupied Palestinian territory, collects customs on behalf of the Palestinian government on imported goods through its ports and destined to the Palestinian areas. It charges in return an excessive amount of 3% of the total.
It is required by the Oslo agreement to transfer the money it collects, which amounts to more than $100 million a month, to the Palestinian Authority. However, it often gives itself the liberty to deduct from it whatever it deems as debt by Palestinians to Israelis.
"Israel insists on punishing its own victims and criminalizing any and all forms of resistance to its illegal and oppressive system of colonization,” said Ashrawi in reference to the prisoners and those who were killed resisting the 51-year long occupation.
"Palestinian revenues should not be subject to Israeli jurisdiction," she said.