Israeli ministers advance bill to cut PA funds over terrorist stipends

In addition, bill to stop convicts in politics is delayed.

June 11, 2017 17:20
2 minute read.
Palestinians protest in solidarity with hunger-striking prisoners in front of the Church of the Nati

Palestinians protest in solidarity with hunger-striking prisoners in front of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, May 23, 2017.. (photo credit: ELIYAHU KAMISHER)

The Knesset will vote Wednesday on a bill that would require the government to subtract the money the Palestinian Authority gives to terrorists and their families from tax and tariff revenue Israel collects on the behalf of the PA.

The measure, which the Ministerial Committee on Legislation voted on Sunday to advance, is modeled after the Taylor Force Act in the US. That law is named after a former US Army officer whom a Palestinian terrorist killed in Jaffa last year.

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American philanthropist Sander Gerber encouraged Yesh Atid MK Elazar Stern to initiate the bill in Israel. While in the US, aid to the PA would be cut, in Israel it would come out of revenues Israel collects on behalf of the PA.

Stern said the legislation’s advancement was proof that when it comes to matters of Israel’s security, “there is no coalition and opposition.”

But opposition MKs have criticized the bill, saying it could hurt the chances to start peace talks with the Palestinians, and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu deserves credit for the idea.

The ministers also voted to advance a bill submitted by Zionist Union faction head Merav Michaeli that would equate legal proceedings for sex crimes in military and civilian courts.

“A sex crime is a sex crime and it doesn’t matter whether it takes place in the army or in civilian life,” Michaeli said.

“Soldiers must know that as citizens they have full rights to their bodies, even if they are wearing a military uniform.

This is a very important step for the IDF in dealing with sex crimes, especially in light of recent incidents.”

The ministers decided to delay for four months a bill sponsored by Zionist Union MK Miki Rosenthal that would prohibit anyone who committed a crime involving moral turpitude from ever becoming a Knesset member, cabinet minister or mayor.

Rosenthal said he submitted the measure to prevent a recurrence of what happened with Shas chairman Arye Deri, who was convicted of bribery for acts he committed in the Interior Ministry and then returned to the Knesset and the post of interior minister after his seven- year period of ineligibility.

Rosenthal said he would bring the bill to a vote in the Knesset on Wednesday, even though it has almost no chance of passing.

“The most basic public norms can’t be taken for granted uner the current government,” he said. “The ministers don’t want the bill [to pass] because they are afraid it will be applied to them.”

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