Israel will withhold over $138 million from the Palestinian Authority for payments it makes to terrorists and the families of Palestinians killed while committing atrocities against Israelis.
The Israeli government’s security cabinet announced Sunday that it was implementing a law passed last year allowing the Jewish state to withhold funds that the Palestinian Authority (PA) uses to pay stipends to attackers and their families from taxes Israel collects on the PA’s behalf, according to a World Israel News report.
The PA uses the payments to financially incentivize the murder and maiming of Israeli civilians. Palestinian leaders, including PA President Mahmoud Abbas, have refused to discontinue the practice, notwithstanding laws in Israel and the U.S. that penalize the PA to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars each year for continuing the practice.
While Palestinians face major budget cuts made last year after the United States slashed funding for the Palestinians’ U.N. agency (UNRWA), Abbas announced last year he intends to use the PA’s “last penny” to continue the pay-for-slay policy, which is built on a sliding scale that rewards more heinous crimes with greater remuneration.
The $138 million figure is based on the amount of money the PA has paid out to terrorists and their families based on the PA’s released budget for 2018.
According to Palestinian law, murderers such as Arafat Irfaiya, who brutally raped and killed 19-year-old Israeli Ori Ansbacher in Jerusalem earlier this month, are eligible for terror stipends based on their crimes.
Israel collects around US$127 million a month in customs duties levied on goods destined for Palestinian markets that transit through Israeli ports, and then transfers the money to the PA.
Earlier this month, Netanyahu pledged to implement the law after the gruesome murder of Ori Ansbacher. He is running in an election scheduled for April 9, and has been seeking to shore up his security credentials in the eyes of voters ahead of polling day.
The US$138 million will likely be deducted incrementally over a 12-month period, according to local media reports. (WIN)