Israel only half implements law against PA funding terrorists

The amounts paid to live terrorists are being withheld, but not the NIS 700 million given to the families of dead terrorists.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Half of the money that should be withheld from the Palestinian Authority (PA), according to Israeli law, due to the PA’s financial support for terrorists, is still being transferred to Ramallah, Israel Hayom reported Monday.

The “Pay for Slay” law, passed last year, requires Israel to deduct the amount that Ramallah gives to terrorists and their families from tax revenues collected and transferred to the PA. This includes funds for terrorists currently serving time in Israeli prisons for attacks or attempted attacks as well as stipends provided to the families of terrorists killed in an attack.

The PA pays roughly NIS 700 million a year for each of the two categories. According to Israel Hayom, to date only the money paid to live terrorists is being withheld.

The reason given for the delay in implementing the law fully is that the cabinet has not yet received a report from defense officials detailing the exact amount that each dead terrorist’s family receives.

Recently, Israel Hayom said, the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee asked the Ministry of Defense to explain the delay. Those charged with collecting the data said that they have yet to submit the report because it’s difficult to identify precisely how much money is considered the “terror stipend.”

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MK Avi Dichter (Likud), one of the co-sponsors of the original law, could not accept that answer.

“We can overcome the obstacles and monitor the amount of the stipend received by terrorists’ families,” he told Israel Hayom. “We expect that this will be done.”

Once the government started withholding the terror stipends from the customs duties and other taxes that Israel transfers to the PA on a monthly basis, PA President Mahmoud Abbas said that the Palestinians would refuse to receive the remainder. Since then, the PA has faced a financial crisis, as the tax money is said to total more than half of Ramallah’s budget.