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Abbas: 'We will not accept cancellation of stipends'

July 24, 2018 4:15 P.M. (Updated: July 26, 2018 12:09 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Monday that the Palestinian Authority (PA) will continue to pay stipends to the families of killed Palestinians and prisoners.

Abbas described the imprisoned and killed Palestinians as "stars in the skies of the Palestinian struggle and they have priority in everything."

He continued by saying that "we will not accept a cut or cancellation of salaries to the families of martyrs and prisoners."

Abbas added "even if we only have a penny left, we will give it to the martyrs, the prisoners and their families."

Earlier this month, the Israeli Knesset had approved a law to deduct funds transferred to the PA by the amount paid to Palestinian prisoners and their families.

The law will deduct the PA's transfers, which makes up 7% of its overall budget, estimated at 1.1 billion shekels ($300 million) annually, which was used to pay salaries and funding for Palestinian prisoners and to pay stipends to families of killed and wounded Palestinians; this deduction move will add to another deficit to the PA’s budget.

Critics of this new law have warned against the Palestinian Authority becoming bankrupt and leading to its economic collapse in the near future.

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