Israel uses Palestinian Authority funds for terrorists to compensate terror victims

Finance Minister Smotrich orders that funds earmarked for Palestinian terrorists’ salaries instead be used to compensate their victims.

By World Israel News Staff

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich (Religious Zionist Party) ordered the Tax Authority to transfer 130 million shekels ($35 million) in Palestinian Authority funds to the families of terror victims, his office announced Thursday morning.

Israel regularly collects taxes from residents of PA-controlled areas on behalf of the entity, a practice that has proved controversial in recent years as a significant part of those funds are used as pay-for-slay salaries.

The PA pays monthly stipends to imprisoned terrorists convicted of murdering or attacking Israelis, and also provides financial aid to their families.

Despite international scrutiny and Israeli courts determining the practice to be illegal, the PA has steadfastly refused to stop it pay-for-slay policies.

Smotrich’s office recently found that under Israeli law, the Finance Ministry could seize funds intended for pay-for-slay salaries and instead redirect them towards the families of terror victims.

“Following court rulings and from the funds which were deducted, which are sums which were transferred to prisoners who were involved in terror and to their families, this week I signed an order to transfer millions of shekels to the families of terror victims,” Smotrich told Arutz Sheva.

“The Palestinian Authority continues to tell the world that it is on the verge of collapse and continues paying the families of terrorists and transferring money for terror. The minimum of the minimum is to transfer compensation to the families of terror victims, from these funds. And that is what we are doing.”

Read  Bereaved families sue PA for $55m over ‘pay for slay’

Notably, PA-controlled media outlet Wafa News recently reported that the entity had provided the families of slain and imprisoned terrorists with generous cash gifts ahead of the Islamic Eid al-Adha holiday, which takes place on June 16th.

“Why should we have to clarify and justify providing assistance to families of prisoners and martyrs, who are the victims of the occupation and its oppressive policies? We cannot abandon our people and we will continue striving to free all our prisoners,” PA President Mahmoud Abbas told the UN General Assembly in September 2020.

In 2020, the PA paid at least 600 million shekels ($162 million) to terrorists and their families.