The Palestinian Authority on Tuesday clarified new legal punishments for Palestinian Arabs caught doing construction work in Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria.
Last month, PA leader Mahmoud Abbas signed into law the new ban on working in Jewish settlements. The legislation requires all Palestinians currently doing construction work in Jewish settlements to find alternative employment by the end of the year. It also forbids the purchase of agricultural and other goods produced by the Jewish communities in the area.
Those found in violation of the law will face up to five years in jail and a $14,000 fine.
The Palestinian Authority is reeling from massive unemployment. Trading with and working in the nearby Jewish settlements is one of the last steady sources of income for most, and the new law is likely to increase hardships tremendously.
Some in Israel speculated that that is precisely what the Palestinian Authority wants, as it has had great success leveraging Palestinian suffering to extract concessions from Israel.