Bill seeks to cut funds to PA over support to prisoners and their families

“A basic necessity for peace is our neighboring countries’ acknowledgment of the State of Israel and its right to live in security.”

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April 3, 2017 20:09
2 minute read.
SHOW US the money. Lawmakers attend a preliminary vote on a bill at the Knesset

SHOW US the money. Lawmakers attend a preliminary vote on a bill at the Knesset. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Lawmakers from across the entire political spectrum have introduced a bill to deduct the amount Israel pays to the Palestinian Authority according to the amount it gives to terrorists and their families.

The bill would require the Defense Ministry to report annually on how much money the Palestinian Authority spent on the security prisoners and cut Israel’s transfer of funds accordingly.

By doing so, the initiators hope to end the PA’s program of funding terrorism.

“A basic necessity for peace is our neighboring countries’ acknowledgment of the State of Israel and its right to live in security,” say the bill’s explanatory notes. “This recognition should not be only in words – it requires the Palestinian leadership to show us in its acts – that aspirations to eliminate Israel, the advancement of Jewish- hatred, and supporting terrorism against Israel are not acceptable.

“However, since the signing of the Oslo Accords and throughout President Mahmoud Abbas’s reign, Palestinian leaders expressed their support in a policy that isn’t allowing true peace.”

According to sponsors of the bill, 7% of the PA budget – including money from the US and Europe – goes for salaries and benefits to Palestinian prisoners in Israel who committed terrorist acts and to their relatives. According to Palestinian law, the bigger the punishment from Israel, the bigger the salary from the PA, they added.

“While we are criticizing other countries for turning a blind eye to the Palestinian Authority’s support of terrorism, the State of Israel is acting the same,” explain the notes. “It is actively transferring tax money that it collects for the Palestinian Authority according to the ‘Paris Protocol’ [the economic appendix to the Oslo accords] without considering the fact that this money could potentially support terrorism.”


MK Elazar Stern (Yesh Atid), the bill’s main sponsor, said the PA policy is not only an incitement, it is an incentive for terrorism as well.

“Considering that this permanent flow of money – year after year – to families of terrorists is raising their quality of life, makes it even harder for families of our terrorist victims,” he said.

“That the amount of money they receive is determined by the number of people they killed makes not only an incentive for them, but it effectively lures them into killing Jews.”

Sources close to Stern told The Jerusalem Post that the bill was inspired by the Taylor Force Act that was reintroduced in the United States Congress last month.

That bill – named after former US Army officer Taylor Force, who was killed in a terrorist attack in Jaffa in March 2016 – would eliminate US funding for the Palestinian Authority if it continues providing stipends to terrorists and their families.

“The world is much more aware to the dangers of terrorism, and I have no doubt that they will understand the measure we are taking here,” Stern said. “The State of Israel, as the spearhead of the fight against terrorism, should put an end to this phenomenon of allocating money that goes to fund terrorism.”

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