Meretz MK justifies PA payments to terrorists, apologizes

"There are children [of terrorists] who are left without financial support, it is necessary that they not be taken advantage of or turn to terror themselves," said MK Gaby Lasky to Kan Radio.

 Israeli lawyer Gaby Lasky is seen at the supreme court for hearing in Jerusalem on September 14, 2020. (photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)
Israeli lawyer Gaby Lasky is seen at the supreme court for hearing in Jerusalem on September 14, 2020.
(photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

Payments from the Palestinian Authority to families of terrorists is justified, MK Gaby Lasky (Meretz) said in an interview to Kan Radio on Friday, drawing condemnations from both coalition and opposition politicians. 

Lasky was asked about payments that the PA will give to the Tel Aviv attacker's family based on its policy to support families of dead or jailed terrorists.

"[We] need to the view the matter broadly," she responded. "There are children who are left without financial support, it is necessary that they not be taken advantage of or turn to terror themselves," she said.

"I know that people have a hard time hearing this, but I also think that there is no need for collective punishment of the families [of terrorists], there is no need to destroy homes or carry out administrative arrests," she added.

Lasky later apologized for the remarks. 

"My comment was uncalled for and did not for a moment justify the nefarious terror [attack] and I apologize fot it," Lasky wrote on Twitter.

 Members of Israeli ZAKA team clean blood from the site after a shooting terror attack on Dizengoff street on April 8, 2022 in Tel Aviv (credit: Amir Levy/Getty Images) Members of Israeli ZAKA team clean blood from the site after a shooting terror attack on Dizengoff street on April 8, 2022 in Tel Aviv (credit: Amir Levy/Getty Images)

"I unequivocally condemn the horrific attack yesterday. [I] send condolences to the families [of the victims] and feel sorrow for their loss. There is no dispute here about supporting or opposing terror, since I state unequivocally that it must be fought against and it is necessary to do everything to ensure safety."

The comment drew broad criticism from across the political spectrum.

Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar called her comment "severe, irresponsible and completely against the government's position." He also said that the PA payments encourage terror.

Communications ministers Yoaz Hendel called the comment "delusional," and called on ISrael to offset the payments to terrorists from Israel's financial support of the PA.

The Likud said in response:

"A few hours after the terrible attack in Tel Aviv, Bennett's coalition member expresses support in the PA's payments to terrorists. If anyone was searching for more proof why Bennett's weak government cannot defeat terror, they received it today."

A Palestinian terrorist killed three people and injured several others, some seriously, on a busy street in central Tel Aviv on Thursday evening. The terrorist was killed in an exchange of fire with Israeli forces several kilometers away in Jaffa early Friday morning.