Israeli NGO to gov’t: Tax Arab Israeli terrorists on pay-for-slay income
The PA pays Arabs living in the territories and Israeli Arabs monthly salaries for murdering Israeli soldiers and civilians.
By MAAYAN JAFFE-HOFFMAN
An Israeli watchdog is calling on the government to tax the pay-for-slay money received by some Arab citizens of Israel.Last month, Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit ruled that pay-for-slay payments should be considered “income” according to the Income Tax Law, when he ruled that the National Labor Court should reject a request for state economic support payments by an east Jerusalem family who receives “pay-for-slay” payments from the Palestinian Authority.The PA pays Arabs living in the territories and Israeli Arabs monthly salaries for murdering Israeli soldiers and civilians. Terrorists who are Israeli citizens or residents of Jerusalem receive a special bonus. These terrorists have never paid income tax on these monthly salaries.“This opens the way for the Israeli government to collect millions of shekels in taxes that were not paid by the terrorists on their income,” explained Maurice Hirsch, head of legal strategies at Palestinian Media Watch (PMW).In response to Mandelblit’s decision, the watchdog organization calculated the salaries of eight terrorists who currently receive net monthly salaries of at least NIS 12,500 ($3,577) and another six who receive net monthly salaries of at least NIS 10,500 ($3,004). Collectively, PMW reported, they have received around NIS 20 million from the PA. No taxes have been paid on that money.Hirsch said that if taxes were collected on just the first eight terrorists’ income, it would “amount to a couple of million of shekels.”In reality, there are dozens of terrorists who are Israeli citizens and would owe taxes.“I took Mandelblit’s opinion two or three steps forward,” Hirsch told The Jerusalem Post. “Income is income and if it is considered income for safety net services then it should be for income tax, too. And if it is considered income, then the terrorists should have been paying taxes on that for years.“If you are a good working citizen of Israel and you go out and do a job, you pay taxes,” he continued. “Shouldn’t a terrorist?”Among the terrorists who have concealed the largest incomes are the murderers of Israeli soldier Avraham Bromberg – Maher Younes and Karim Younes – who during their imprisonment have each received salaries totaling more than NIS 1,681,200, PMW reported. The four murderers of Israeli soldier Moshe Tamam – Walid Daqqa, Ibrahim Bayadseh, Ibrahim Abu Mukh, and Rushdi Abu Mukh – are also among the top paid; during their imprisonment they have each received salaries totaling more than NIS 1,561,500.Hirsch added that the government should take steps even further and “seize all the money that has been paid to these terrorists according to the rules regarding tax evasion and anti-terror financing laws.”“Furthermore, the terrorists must be put on trial for committing new crimes,” he concluded.This last call is based on the notion that many terrorists between 2014 and 2018 received payment through the Palestine National Fund, the PLO’s financial arm, which has been named a terror organization by Israel.“It appears that the Israeli authorities are beginning to understand and internalize the significance of the payments that the PA is making to the imprisoned terrorists, although at the current stage this is only regarding terrorists who are Israeli citizens or residents of east Jerusalem,” Hirsch said. “This understanding must be translated into concrete actions that will not only prevent them from receiving additional social welfare payments from Israel, but also into initiatives to enforce the law against the terrorists based both on the tax laws and based on the anti-terror law.”He admitted that it “sounds ridiculous” to be talking about taxing terrorist murderers, but he said “if you cannot stop the payments, you have to go after the money. In order to stop the payments, you have to make it unbearable for the terrorists themselves to receive it. You have to turn it into a nightmare for the terrorists themselves.”