Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Sunday he will continue to pay stipends to Palestinian attackers and their families, in spite of the Israeli parliament's decision to withhold tax funds collected on the PA's behalf.
Since the Oslo agreement, Israel is responsible for a large part of Palestinian tax collection, notably duties for goods imported and exported from Palestinian territories.
Israel has called on Palestinians for years to halt the stipends, which benefit roughly 35,000 families of Palestinians killed, wounded or jailed in the conflict with Israel, many of them accused of involvement in terror. Critics point out that the PA security agencies exist exclusively to protect Israel and Israeli interests, not the people of Palestine.
The stipends amount to approximately $330 million, or about 7 percent of the Palestinian Authority's $5 billion budget in 2018.
"The money we pay to families of prisoners and martyrs, which Israel opposes, we will not allow anyone to intervene with it", Abbas said, according to the official Wafa News Agency. Abbas said other Arab countries also have rejected the USA plan, but didn't say which countries opposed the plan.
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President Abbas also said on Sunday that the state will keep paying families of those killed or imprisoned by Israeli forces, despite a new Israeli law that forbids such financial transactions.
He added that "countries in the world, in Europe, Asia and Africa started to realise that the deal of the century will not pass", in reference to the peace plan Trump administration is intending to declare soon.
"We are still waiting and we will take the proper measures that fit with our interests", Abbas said.
At least 17 fires were sparked on Israeli land near the Gaza border by incendiary kites and balloons launched from Gaza by Palestinian protesters.