France should be protesting the Palestinian Authority for rewarding terrorism and not Israel for trying to curb it, MKs said Monday in response to the diplomatic row over France officially protesting the Israeli policy to freeze payments to the PA.
Likud MK Avi Dichter, who is behind the bill stopping tax and tariff transfers to the PA equaling the amount it spent on payments to terrorists and their families, asked, “How can [French] President [Emanuel] Macron not have a word to say about the Palestinian law requiring them to pay salaries to terrorists, and then come and complain about this law?”
Israel enacted the Deduction Law earlier this year, months after its approval by the Knesset with broad support. The law requires the Defense Ministry to present the security cabinet with a report on how much the PA paid terrorists in prison or the families of terrorists who were killed, and for the Finance Ministry to deduct that amount from the taxes and tariffs Israel collects for the PA. Palestinian Media Watch estimated that the PA spent at least $138 million on terrorist salaries in 2018, based on publicly available PA budget documents.
“What would the French President say if it turned out the PA was paying a NIS 12,000 monthly salary to the mass murderer Carlos the Jackal, who is sitting in a French prison after receiving a life sentence for terrorist attacks?” Dichter asked. Carlos the Jackal –whose real name is Ilyich Ramirez Sanchez, a Venezuelan terrorist serving a life sentence in France for attacks killing 14 people and injuring 150 – was a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Dichter added: “We will strike terrorists everywhere… In the war on terrorism, a country that doesn’t count the money will count dead bodies.”
Union of Right-Wing Parties (URP) MK Bezalel Smotrich called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “aggressively reject the French hypocrisy and send Macron to press [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] to stop paying salaries to terrorists.
“As long as the PA encourages terrorism against Israel and pays salaries to terrorists, we cannot transfer one shekel to them. So they’ll collapse. We’ll get two birds with one stone,” Smotrich wrote on Twitter.
On Sunday night, Channel 12 reported that France asked Israel last week to “change the decision to freeze the transfer of funds to the PA.”
Netanyahu’s office reportedly responded that “Israel will continue to act according to its policy and the laws passed by the Knesset. This request is immoral and politically wrong, and goes against European policies against for combating terrorism.”
“We will not transfer money so that the PA will pay it to terrorists and security prisoners,” the letter stated.
Meir Indor, chairman of the hawkish Almagor Terror Victims Association said, “The French, who cooperated with the Nazis and turned in Jews, are now pressuring the Jewish State not to react when Palestinian murderers receive a salary according to how many they killed in terrorist attacks. There is a clear French policy line towards Palestinian terrorists, from the release of George Abdullah, who planned the murder of Israeli diplomat Yaacov Bar-Siman-Tov in 1982 and [former French] president [Nicholas] Sarkozy’s pressure to release the terrorist who planned to murder [former] chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and shorten his sentence. Almagor Terror Victims will not forgive the French for their hypocrisy.”