MK Ayelet Nahmias-Verbin, who is spearheading the task force. (Miriam Alster/Flash90) (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Ayelet Nahmias-Verbin

Israel is building a task force to stop money intended for welfare from being used to promote Palestinian terror.

The Knesset is in the process of setting up a special task force designed to ensure that money donated by European Union (EU) countries to the Palestinian Authority (PA) for welfare purposes will not be funneled to terrorists or their families.

The project is the brainchild of Member of Knesset (MK) Ayelet Nahmias-Verbin, who received approval from Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein.

Nahmias-Verbin brought six other Israeli lawmakers on board, including MKs Amir Ohana, Haim Jelin, Merav Ben-Ari, Shuli Mualem-Rafaeli, Yaakov Margi (Shas) and Oded Forer, all from different political parties.

“Figures we have collected show that every month, some 4.5 million euros in EU funds are divided among those who carried out terrorist attacks against Israel and the families of terrorists,” Nahmias-Verbin told Israel Hayom.

“It’s hard to convince Israelis—on the right or the left – that the Palestinians want to promote the peace process as long as donations from countries throughout the world, especially Europe, are transferred to murderers rather than benefiting the Palestinian population,” she added.

An Incentive for Murder

Ignoring demands by the US and several European countries to stop rewarding terror, the PA in 2017 is actually increasing these expenditures significantly.

According to Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), the PA’s publicized 2017 budget shows an increase in funding for salaries to terrorist prisoners of 13 percent from NIS 488 million ($135 million) in 2016 to NIS 550 million ($158 million), with payments to families of “martyrs” increasing by 4 percent from NIS 660 million ($183 million) to NIS 687 million ($197 million).

In total, the PA’s direct terror-funding expenditures in 2017 reached NIS 1.237 billion ($355 million)

According to PA law, the more heinous the act of terror committed, the greater the reward.

Israel says that these stipends encourage terror. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called the payments “an incentive for murder.”

“Terror has become a comfortable business for families,” said Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon. “This encourages violence.”

In a joint appearance with PA head Mahmoud Abbas in May, President Donald Trump said that “peace can never take root in an environment where violence is tolerated, funded and even rewarded.”

Days earlier, an adviser to Abbas called Trump’s request to end the payments to terrorists “insane.”

In July, PA head Mahmoud Abbas pledged not to stop paying the salaries. “Even if I will have to leave my position, I will not compromise on the salary of a martyr, Shahid, or a prisoner, as I am the president of the entire Palestinian people,” he declared.

By: and United with Israel Staff

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