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

“Catch us the foxes, The little foxes That ruin the vineyards— For our vineyard is in blossom.” (Song of Songs2:15)

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 P.A.

In recent days, Arab media outlets have reported that some banks active in the P.A. 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 P.A.’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.

Based on how quickly the P.A. banks are responding, it seems that PMW accurately identified the banks as the weak link in the P.A.’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 P.A. is discussing the issue and how to proceed.