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May 8, 2020 9:56 am

PA Banks Close Terrorist-Related Accounts in Response to New Israeli Legislation

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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas meets with Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit (not pictured) in Cairo, Egypt, Jan. 31, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Mohamed Abd El Ghany. – Banks operating in the Palestinian Authority have been closing accounts belonging to Palestinian terrorist prisoners after Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) sent a letter warning them that failing to do so could result in potential criminal and civil action.

Israeli legislation is set to come into play regarding payments to terrorist prisoners by the PA.

In recent days, Arab media outlets have reported that some banks active in the PA are rushing to close the accounts of terrorist prisoners and released prisoners before the new law takes effect, according to PMW.

The letter sent by PMW informed the banks of the new Israeli law that explicitly criminalizes the PA’s salary payments to terrorist prisoners, as well as prohibits facilitating the payment of these rewards for terror. The letter also warned the banks of specific legal repercussions.

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Based on how quickly the PA banks are responding, it seems that PMW accurately identified the banks as the weak link in the PA’s terror reward program. Many of these entities are foreign banks that conduct business internationally and are reluctant to be tainted by the threat of criminal or civil proceedings for supporting terrorism.

In fact, PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs spokesman Hassan Abd Rabbo reported that families of terrorists are already complaining that their bank accounts have been closed. He also confirmed that the PA is discussing the issue and how to proceed.

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