(July 27, 2020 / Israel Hayom) Israel’s Tel Aviv District Court handed down an unprecedented ruling Sunday, saying that the state had the right to seize funds the Palestinian Authority is paying terrorists jailed in Israel.
The court’s ruling followed a petition by the relatives of Mansur Omar, convicted of aiding and abetting a 2005 terrorist attack in which six Israelis were killed, to prevent the state from seizing his P.A.-provided funds.
Israel’s Counterterrorism Law of 2016 lists provisions according to which the Defense Ministry can seize “pay for slay” stipends—funds Ramallah pays jailed terrorists and the families of terrorists killed while committing attacks against Israel. The Palestinian Authority’s “pay for slay” policy has been widely condemned by Israel and the United States.
Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas has refused to retire the policy, declaring that the P.A. will continue to pay terrorists’ salaries “even if it has to spend its last penny to do so.”
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz lauded the ruling, saying that he plans to “move forward with a variety of moves through the National Bureau for Counter Terror Financing [within the Defense Ministry] to block the transfer of funds to terrorists and terrorist organizations.”
Omar’s lawyer protested before the court that the motion to seize the funds was based on classified intelligence to which he was not privy, leaving him “unable to properly refute any claims” against his client.
The judge presiding over the hearing was briefed on the information in chambers. The ruling noted the evidence presented to the court was “compelling,” making the forfeiture of the funds warranted.
Still, Gantz has decided to suspend the order seeking to seize terrorist funds held by Palestinian banks.
This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.
Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision
One of the most intriguing stories of the sudden Coronavirus crisis is the role of the internet. With individuals forced into home quarantine, most are turning further online for information, education and social interaction.
JNS's influence and readership are growing exponentially, and our positioning sets us apart. Most Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas. JNS is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.
During this crisis, JNS continues working overtime. We are being relied upon to tell the story of this crisis as it affects Israel and the global Jewish community, and explain the extraordinary political developments taking place in parallel.
Our ability to thrive in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters. Monthly donations in particular go a long way in helping us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make during these challenging times. We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you blessings for good health and peace of mind.