Israel’s Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich on Wednesday signed off on a second round of financial transfers to victims of terrorism from Palestinian Authority funds, offsetting the rewards the P.A. pays to terrorists and their families.
Smotrich ordered Israel Tax Authority Director Eran Yaacov to transfer NIS 3.2 million ($876,000) from revenues collected for the P.A. to victims of terrorism and their families.
This follows a previous transfer in January of NIS 138.8 million ($39.5 million) in accordance with a court order.
The P.A. pays monthly stipends to Palestinians and/or their families for carrying out terrorist attacks against Israel. In 2021, the P.A. paid out an estimated NIS 512 million ($157 million) as part of this “pay-for-slay” policy.
“I signed on to the offset of the terrorist funds that the Palestinian Authority transfers to the families of terrorists. We deducted 3.2 million shekels which will be transferred as compensation to the families of victims of terrorism,” Smotrich said.
“The State of Israel stops the financing of terrorism by the Palestinian Authority,” he added. “We will not allow this absurd situation to happen.”
Smotrich in February announced the signing of an order doubling the amount of tax and tariff revenue Israel withholds from the P.A. because of its “pay-for-slay” policy.
The transfers are part of a series of measures approved earlier this year by Israel’s Security Cabinet in response to what it described as the P.A.’s ongoing “political and legal war” against the Jewish state.
U.S. State Department Spokesman Ned Price described these Israeli measures as a “unilateral move” that “exacerbates tensions.”