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Israel Knesset Foreign Affairs Committee approves pending legislation based on PMW findings

TOI Staff  |
Israel Knesset Foreign Affairs Committee
approves pending legislation based on PMW findings


Headline: "Bill slashing PA funding over terror payouts passes review"

Knesset committee green-lights initiative to deduct sum of payments to terrorists and their families from taxes Israel collects for Palestinians
“The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Wednesday unanimously approved for a first Knesset reading a bill that would slash funds to the Palestinian Authority by the amount Ramallah pays out to convicted terrorists and their families.
If passed by the Knesset, the legislation would deduct welfare payments paid out by the Palestinian Authority to Palestinian prisoners and their relatives from tax revenues Israel transfers annually to the PA. The bill would allow the government to either deduct the funds, which would be irreversible, or ‘freeze’ the payments, leaving the security cabinet with the final say. Under an economic agreement signed in 1994, Israel transfers to the PA tens of millions of dollars each year in customs duties levied on goods destined for Palestinian markets that transit through Israeli ports.
The committee accepted a proposal from lawyer Maurice Hirsch — a former head of the Military Prosecution in the West Bank who today represents the right-wing NGO Palestinian Media Watch — to take into account not only direct payments to terrorists and their families from the Palestinian Authority, but also from any other body acting on its behalf…
The PLO gives monthly payments to all Palestinian prisoners jailed in Israel, no matter the reason for their incarceration, and also to families of so-called ‘martyrs’ — a term used by the PLO to refer to anyone killed by an Israeli, including in the act of carrying out an attack.
According to the Defense Ministry, the Palestinian Authority in 2017 paid NIS 687 million ($198 million) to the so-called ‘martyrs’ families fund’ and NIS 550 million ($160 million) to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club — some 7 percent of its overall budget…
The PA has refused to cease the payments to Palestinian prisoners.”