Israel advanced its attempts to penalize the PA for incentivizing terror through stipends.
By: United with Israel Staff
By advancing a bill requiring the government to financially penalize the Palestinian Authority (PA), Israel took a big step against the PA’s funding of terror.
The Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday unanimously approved, in its second and third readings, a bill that requires the government to deduct the amount the PA pays terrorists from the taxes and tariffs that Israel collects on behalf of the PA.
According to a Defense Ministry report based on the PA’s budget, the PA paid terrorists and their families more than $347 million in 2017, and increased its terror incentives by $56 million to $403 million for 2018.
Palestinian prisoners serving 20-30 year sentences for carrying out terror attacks are eligible for a lifetime NIS 10,000 monthly stipend, the Defense Ministry said, citing PA figures.
Those who receive a three-to-five-year sentence get a monthly wage of NIS 2,000. Palestinian prisoners who are married, have children, live in Jerusalem or hold Israeli citizenship receive additional payments.
Israel collects an estimated $2.1 billion in tax revenues for the PA, in accordance with the 1994 Paris Protocol, which governs economic relations with the PA, including import taxes on goods passing through Israel to the Palestinians.
The legislation determines that at the end of each year, the defense minister will draft a report on the funds the PA pays terrorists. The financial penalty will be determined by the report.
The bill mandates the deduction with no options for flexibility and leaves no room for the government to make a new decision each year on whether or not to make the deduction, based on diplomatic and other considerations.
‘Justice Needs to Be Done Here’
The amount deducted will be invested in a fund to pay damages to victims of terrorism, among other areas. The Committee accepted the government’s request to include among the fund’s beneficiaries people whose property has been damaged by terrorism, in light of the recent blazes in the south ignited by fire and explosive kites launched by Palestinians from Gaza.
The Knesset bill is similar to the Taylor Force Act, which recently became law in the US. The Act was inspired by the murder of Taylor Force, a West Point Graduate and United States Army veteran, by a Palestinian terrorist in Tel Aviv in March 2016.
Similarly on Monday, the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee unanimously approved a proposal by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to deduct from PA funds the compensation payments for damages caused by the arson terrorism in the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip.
Netanyahu instructed the director of the National Security Council to advance the proposal and include compensation for fire damages.
“Justice needs to be done here. Whoever burns fields should know that there will be a price,” Netanyahu stated after the approval.
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