In first, prime minister vows to deduct PA’s terrorist payments 


Source: In first, prime minister vows to deduct PA’s terrorist payments – Israel Hayom

“Next Sunday I will convene the cabinet and we will pass the necessary decision to deduct the funds. The funds will be deducted, let there be no doubt about that,” Netanyahu says • Brutal murder of Ori Ansbacher was a terrorist attack, Shin Bet says.

Ariel Kahana, News Agencies and Israel Hayom Staff // published on 11/02/2019
PM Netanyahu at the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Sunday 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday vowed for the first time to enact the “terrorist salaries law” – and even outlined a timetable for its implementation.

The legislation allows the government to deduct the amount the Palestinian Authority pays to terrorists and their families from the taxes Israel collects on the PA’s behalf. The law also requires the Defense Ministry to provide the cabinet with data on the amount the PA pays terrorists and their families. The Finance Ministry will then withhold that amount from the tax funds.

Netanyahu’s announcement came after the Shin Bet security agency said Sunday that the brutal slaying of 19-year-old Ori Ansbacher by a Palestinian near Jerusalem last week was a “nationalistic” terrorist attack.

Speaking at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said: “By the end of the week we will finish the necessary administrative work to enact the terrorist salaries law. Next Sunday I will convene the cabinet and we will pass the necessary decision to deduct the funds. The funds will be deducted, let there be no doubt about that.”

The prime minister’s comments came following local media reports that in January Israel transferred the PA the entire sum of taxes it collects on its behalf. This was done despite that fact that in January the cabinet, as stipulated by the new legislation, was supposed to have deducted the sum of PA terrorist salaries from those taxes.

New Right party leader Naftali Bennett assailed Netanyahu after it was revealed that the entire amount had been transferred, saying that terrorists are no longer afraid because they know they will have secured lifetime economic benefits for them and their families.

“The prime minister must enact the terrorist salaries law that was passed but hasn’t been implemented yet,” he said.

The Choosing Life forum, which united dozens of families victimized by terror, also demanded that Netanyahu implement the law.

“Even though the deduction law was passed half a year ago, the prime minister and defense minister [Netanyahu is also the acting defense minister] insists on continuing to pay salaries to terrorists,” the group said in a statement. “Do we concede that Ori Ansbacher’s murderer will receive 12,000 shekels [$3,300] every month under the patronage of the State of Israel?!”

The law was spearheaded by MKs Avi Dichter (Likud) and Elazar Stern (Yesh Atid), who also sent a letter to Netanyahu demanding the payment deduction.

“The funds act as an incentive for the next terrorist attack,” Stern wrote.

Israel Hayom has learned, meanwhile, that the Defense Ministry’s initial draft of its report on the scope of PA terrorist salaries places the amount at about 250 million shekels ($69 million) per year.

However, officials in the National Security Council in the Prime Minister’s Office believe the amount is higher and requested additional inquiries into the matter. As stated, Netanyahu requested that the report be completed by the next cabinet meeting next Sunday ahead of the first deduction.

Earlier on Sunday, the IDF said it had surveyed the family home in Hebron of Arafat Irfaiya, suspected in the murder of Ansbacher, “in order to examine the possibility of its demolition.”


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