Palestinian leader vows to keep paying attackers' families

Palestinians to keep paying prisoner stipend despite Israeli penalty

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. "We will continue to pay for them".

Israel says the payments to the families of Palestinians jailed for security offences or killed by Israeli forces while carrying out attacks encourages further violence.

Israel has demanded the return of two Israeli civilians who it says crossed into Gaza and are being held by Hamas, as well as the bodies of two soldiers who were killed in a 2014 war.

On July 2 the Israeli parliament voted 120-87 to withhold approximately US$330 million in annual tax revenues - the amount that would typically go toward this stipend during the 2018 fiscal year.

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"No one has the right to interfere in this matter", said the Fatah leader at a meeting of party members in Ramallah on Sunday, according to state-run news agency Wafa.

Abbas said the Palestinians would "will not let the "Deal of the Century" work", referring to Trump's term for his administration's peace efforts.

Trump announced previous year that he will stop America's contribution to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and the PA to put pressure on the authority to stop paying salaries to Palestinian prisoners inside Israeli jails and prisoners released by Israel, as well as to the families of Palestinians killed by Israel. Abbas said other Arab countries also have rejected the US plan, but didn't say which countries opposed the plan. "We are watching and are waiting and we will take the appropriate measures that suit our interest".

"We told Egypt that if Hamas really wants to make reconciliation, it should transfer all power in the Gaza Strip to the Palestinian consensus government, and if not, they should bear the full responsibility of Gaza", said Abbas.

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