Israel to withhold 600 million NIS from PA for payments made to terrorists’ families

Israel to withhold 600 million NIS from PA for payments made to terrorists' families
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The security cabinet voted on Sunday to withhold half a billion shekels from the PA to offset the funds the PA paid to terrorists and their families last year.

The NIS 600 million ($176 million) the government voted to freeze will come from tax funds Israel has collected on behalf of the PA.

According to the blood news, 600 million NIS will be deducted in monthly installments over the next year.

In 2018, Israel passed a law requiring the government to withhold the equivalent amount of money estimated to pay Palestinian terrorists and their families. Although this is required by law, the security cabinet is still required to vote periodically to approve the move.

While popular with Israelis who oppose the Palestinian Authority’s so-called “pay to kill” system that promotes terrorism, this law is believed to be potentially destabilizing for the Palestinian Authority, which is constantly cash-strapped. Israel had previously offered credit to the Palestinians To keep the PA afloat and prevent its complete breakdown.

Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz, from the Pigeon Meretz party, abstained in Sunday’s vote, according to Kan, citing sources who said he was against the measure.

Prime Minister Yair Lapid (right) and alternate prime minister Naftali Bennett at a cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem, 31 July 2022. (Marc Israel Sellem/POOL)

Israel has long accused the Palestinian Authority of promoting terrorism and militant activities by publicly honoring the aggressors and paying their families a salary if they are killed or imprisoned in Israeli prisons.

Labor Party leader Merav Michaeli reportedly told the cabinet that the Palestinian Authority is ready to stop these payments, which are extremely unpopular not only in Israel but also in the US and Europe, which see them as incitement to terrorism.

“I know the PA is ready to stop payments to terrorists and their families, so we can put an end to these compensatory measures,” Michaeli said, according to an unsourced Channel 13 report.

Alternate Prime Minister Naftali Bennett responded: “If they want to stop the payments, they should. There is nothing to talk about.”

Michaeli insisted they were ready, but said such a move by the PA was dependent on peace talks.

“I know they are ready. We need to have diplomatic talks with them and that will be part of that,” he said.

The cabinet’s decision drew immediate criticism from Palestinian officials, calling it a “financial blockade” of the Palestinian economy. Palestinian Authority officials have similarly vilified Israel’s policy in the past.

“The occupying government continues to piracy of the funds of the Palestinians, and in a step that increases the daily escalation in our cities, villages and villages, decides to cut hundreds of millions of shekels to further embed the policy of financial blockade and steal our money. Hussein al-Sheikh, general secretary of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization “The camps and the legalization of our spilled blood,” he said.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Ramallah on Sunday, March 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool)

Last week, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas Called the fathers of two Palestinian gunmen He offered his condolences to those who lost their lives in the conflict with Israeli soldiers in the West Bank.

Israel’s Channel 12 said the phone call was viewed by the generally unpopular Abbas as an opportunity to make some domestic political gains – hence its filming and circulation on Palestinian social media.

However, the current Israeli government has taken steps to ensure close coordination with the Palestinian Authority.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Abbas at a meeting in Ramallah earlier this month discussed issues surrounding security coordination.

A day later, President Isaac Herzog and Prime Minister Yair Lapid Had a phone call with Abbasin what is believed to be the first direct meeting in five years between an Israeli prime minister and the head of the FY.

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