The Bill to Compensate Victims of Terrorism passed its first in the Knesset plenum on Monday morning
The bill aims to provide terror victims and their families with a route to claim damages from individuals and organizations funding the relevant terrorists.
It passed the reading with wide governmental support from within both the coalition and the opposition.
The bill would allow terror victims to claim at least NIS 10 million in compensation in addition to the ability to file legal claims against individuals and organizations who offer salaries to terrorists.
Supporters of the bill, led by United Torah Judaism MK Yitzhak Pindros, reasoned that this would effectively undermine both financial motivations to carry out acts of terror as well as the ability to finance those acts.
Adding to recompense received by terror victims
The financial benefits to terror victims enshrined in the new piece of legislation would come in addition to, rather than instead of, existing compensations that are paid out by the state. The bill also creates a legal path for victims of terror to claim assets from terror financiers. This includes funds sent from Israel to the Palestinian Authority that have been frozen as a result of connection to terrorism.
"The new law is an important step toward achieving justice for victims of terrorism. [It] will enable victims to receive the compensation they rightfully deserve and will underscore the message that terrorism does not pay,” said Columbia University Law School researcher, Asher Stub and American businessman Sander Gerber in a joint statement. “By eliminating the barriers that currently exist in Israeli law, we can impose a heavy price on those responsible for perpetrating acts of terrorism, mirroring the strong stance taken by American law."
Stub and Gerber were among those to draft the bill and have seen previous success in passing the Taylor Force law as well as the law to withhold money from the salaries of terrorists.
Taylor Force was an American military veteran killed in Israel in 2016 by a Palestinian terrorist. Force’s death inspired the Taylor Force Act in the US. The act was designed to cut off US funds to the Palestinian Authority until a time when it would stop paying salaries to terrorists.
The Knesset Bill To Compensate Victims of Terrorism will next proceed to further readings before having a chance to pass into law.