(AP/Emrah Gurel)

Top Israeli politicians on Thursday thanked the Dutch government for its decision to cut funding to the Palestinian Authority (PA) over its payments of salaries to convicted terrorists and their families.


“It is very pleasing to see that a growing part of Europe is sobering in its relations with the Palestinians and refusing to fund terrorism indirectly. Better late [than never],” tweeted Member of Knesset (MK) Ayelet Shaked about the Netherlands’ decision to cut aid to the Palestinian Authority in response to its refusal to halt salaries to terrorists and their families.

MK Avigdor Liberman commended the Dutch for their “courageous decision.”

“Well done to the Dutch parliament who courageously decided to stop transferring funds to the Palestinian Authority which funds terror,” he tweeted.

The Netherlands has previously given an annual €1.5 million to the PA to pay the salaries of Justice Ministry employees and will cease to do so.

The PA approved its annual budget in March 2018, allocating 7%, or NIS 1.2 billion, towards paying convicted terrorists and their families until the end of 2019.

Responding to questions on the matter, the Dutch Aid Ministry announced its decision on Wednesday during its annual budgetary discussions.

The ministry explained that they had attempted but failed to convince the PA to stop payments to terrorists with funds received from the Netherlands. The PA pays out funds to terrorists according to the length of the prison sentences, said Dutch Aid Minister Sigrid Kaag.

“The Netherlands has worked to put an end to the link between the duration of detention and the amount of the benefit to Palestinians in Israeli detention and their relatives. Although the talks with the PA on this matter were constructive, they did not lead to the desired result and therefore the Netherlands will no longer contribute to salaries in the justice ministry in the coming year,” she said.

The Netherlands made another pro-Israel move on Wednesday when a Dutch Member of Parliament submitted a motion to challenge the European Union (EU)’s highest court’s ruling stating that Israeli products coming from Judea, Samaria, eastern Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights must be labeled as coming from “settlements” and not from Israel.