Financial reward offered for terror attack heroes

Police: Reward offered by right-wing NGO to people killing terrorists during attacks could be illegal.

bulldozer shooter 224.88 (photo credit: Channel 2)
bulldozer shooter 224.88
(photo credit: Channel 2)
An Israeli non-profit organization affiliated with the Right is offering a financial reward to anyone who kills a Palestinian terrorist during a terror attack, an official with the organization said Monday. The NIS 1,800 award being offered by The Committee for Saving the Nation and Land of Israel comes after three back-to-back attacks in Jerusalem in which an off-duty soldier and officer as well as a civilian managed to kill the Palestinian attackers before police did. "This is a symbolic move and an expression of appreciation which is meant to encourage courageous people and raise the morale of the public," said Shai Gefen, a group official. Gefen said the organization, which was originally set up to fight the 2005 Gaza pullout, is looking for additional sponsors around the world in order to raise the award money to NIS 20,000. "Just as Saddam Hussein used to fund the families of suicide bombers, we, who are concerned with life have to give some perks to our civilians who have the courage to save people," Gefen said. The organization has already sent reward money to the off-duty soldier who shot and killed the Arab assailant in the July 2 bulldozer attack in the city. The soldier donated the money to the family of one of the victims, Gefen said. The group has also sent reward money to the 53-year-old Israeli settler, Yaki Asa-El, who shot and killed the July 22 bulldozer attacker before he killed anyone, bringing to four the number of people offered the reward since the start of the year, he added. Asa-El could not be reached for comment on Monday. Internal Security Ministry spokeswoman Tal Yamin-Volvovitch declined comment on the issue. But an Israel police spokeswoman said that the reward being offered may in fact be illegal. "There is no doubt that to encourage people to kill with the offer of reward money is an illegal act," the police spokeswoman said. She noted that the organization was "walking a fine line" by abetting people to kill terrorists, adding that by law only when there was a clear and present danger to a person or persons in the area is he or she allowed to open fire. For his part, Gefen asserted that such a reward was similar to police or military honorary recognition for courage, and insisted that it would not lead to people becoming trigger-happy. "There is no concern of someone shooting another person for NIS 1,800," he said.