On June 1, 2020, the Palestinian Authority (PA) approved the establishment of a government bank which will serve as a channel for transferring funds to prisoners and families of shaheeds. The establishment of the new bank was intended to bypass the order issued by the Commander of the IDF Central Command prohibiting banks from providing banking services to prisoners and families of shaheeds in Judea and Samaria. In the wake of the order, several Palestinian and Arab banks announced a freeze on the bank accounts of prisoners and families of shaheeds. On the other hand, Mahmoud Abbas and PA officials again pledged to transfer the funds to the prisoners and families of shaheeds, calling them a “red line” and “sacred salaries.”

Immediately after approval of the PA government’s decision, the PA began taking practical steps to establish the new bank. On June 22, 2020, the PA government decided to set up a committee to select the director general of the new bank (Wafa News Agency, June 22, 2020).

During a demonstration against the Israeli annexation plans held in the Jordan Valley on June 24, 2020, PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh announced the granting of an aid package to the Jordan Valley, which includes opening post offices in Al-Auja and AlJiftlik. According to him, in the future these branches will become branches of the new government bank to be established (Wafa News Agency, June 24, 2020).

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