(December 30, 2019 / JNS) Israel’s security cabinet voted on Sunday to withhold $43 million in taxpayer funds for the Palestinians, citing the Palestinian Authority’s program of rewarding terrorists and their families.
The amount represents what Israel says the Palestinians have used to reward Palestinian terrorists under its “Martyrs Fund.”
The Palestinians have refused to halt the payments, claiming that they are used as welfare subsidies for needy families, though the funds go directly to those connected to violence against Israelis.
The Jewish state gathers taxes on behalf of the Palestinians and sends the money to the P.A., in accordance with past deals.
Israel passed a law last year reducing parts of these transfers that it claimed were backing terrorists and their families. Sunday’s move exemplified that law.
P.A. official Hanan Ashrawi slammed Sunday’s decision, labeling it a “blatant act of theft and political extortion.”
“For too long, we allowed the P.A. to pay salaries to terrorists. This celebration is over with the law we passed in the Knesset,” tweeted Deputy Defense Minister Avi Dichter. “In the war for the protection of Israeli citizens, there will be no compromises.”
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