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Israel declares war on PA funding for terrorist kin after Knesset bill

The PA routinely provides monthly stipends to terrorists and their next-of-kin – akin to familial welfare payments – often in cases when the primary breadwinner is incarcerated or killed.
By Max Schindler

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman is setting up a counterterrorist “economic warfare” unit to go after the stipends that the PA provides for imprisoned terrorists and their families.

This comes a day after the Knesset voted to cut funds – which the Palestinian Authority gives to terrorists and their families – from the taxes and tariffs Israel collects for the authority.

In what is called the “Anti-Pay for Slay bill,” MKs voted 87-15 on Monday to back the financial restrictions. All factions except for leftist Meretz and the mostly-Arab Joint List backed the bill.

The PA routinely provides monthly stipends to terrorists and their next-of-kin – akin to familial welfare payments – often in cases when the primary breadwinner is incarcerated or killed.

“The war on terror rests on two legs – security and economic,” Liberman said. “We are working to eliminate terrorism by military means, while at the same time drying up its sources of funding. The economic headquarters that I set up will lead to a combined effort, both overt and covert, in Israel and around the world, that will inflict a painful blow on the terrorists and their sponsors.”

Almost all of Israel’s security and intelligence agencies have previously opposed Knesset legislation that would cut off tax transfers, due to ongoing security cooperation with the PA, The Jerusalem Post previously reported.

The Defense Ministry’s new unit will provide an annual report on the PA’s stipend payments to terrorists and their families. On the basis of the report, the Israeli government will deduct an equivalent amount from the tax monies it collects for the PA.



The new entity will also monitor the financial activity of terrorist groups in Israel and around the world and coordinate and synchronize activities with different government ministries and security bodies.

An impetus for the bill came from the murder of US Army Capt. Taylor Force, who was stabbed as he strolled along the Tel Aviv boardwalk in March 2016. Force’s father sat in the plenum during the Knesset vote.

Israel deems all Palestinian attackers to be “terrorists,” regardless of whether they’re targeting Israeli and foreign civilians or uniformed soldiers.

The economic warfare unit will be headed by Paul Landes, who is shifting over from the Prime Minister’s Office. Landes previously served as head of the Justice Ministry’s Prohibition of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Authority.

Cutting funds could further imperil the financially struggling PA, and it goes against the advice of senior defense officials.

In 2017, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, the IDF, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and other security bodies warned against cutting off PA funds, fearing it would lead to an escalation in terrorist attacks.
https://www.geezgo.com/sps/29062
Israel declares war on PA funding for terrorist kin after Knesset bill Reviewed by Kelechi O on 22:01 Rating: 5

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