A new law aims to end the PA practice dubbed “pay to slay,” which provides salaries to Palestinian and Israeli Arab terrorists who attack Jews.
By: JNS and United with Israel Staff
Israeli lawmakers overwhelmingly approved legislation late on Monday that withholds tax transfers from Israel to the Palestinian Authority (PA) to offset salaries paid by Ramallah to terrorists or their families.
The bill, which passed 87-15, aims to put an end to the PA practice dubbed “pay to slay,” which provides salaries to Palestinian and Israeli Arabs who attack Jews, with varying amounts given according to crime and sentence as well as additional funds for Israeli Arab terrorists.
“The PA turned itself into a factory that employs murderers [of] Jews mostly, but also Muslims, Christians, Druze, Circassians and others, including tourists,” said Member of Knesset (MK) Avi Dichter, who was one of the bill’s co-sponsors.
Each year, Israel transfers NIS 8.5 billion (more than $2.4 billion) in tax payments. The PA budget this year is NIS 18.5 billion ($5.2 billion). The PA has dedicated a significant portion of its budget, some seven percent, to directly incentivize the murder of Jews through stipends to terrorists and their families.
In its 2018 budget, the PA increased the funding and allocated $360 million for the Prisoners and Martyrs fund, which disperses payment to imprisoned terrorists, released terrorists and the families of dead terrorists.
Israel’s new legislation determines that at the end of each year, the defense minister will draft a report on the funds the PA pays terrorists. The financial penalty will be determined by the report.
‘Every Palestinian Youth Will Understand’
The bill mandates the deduction with no options for flexibility and leaves no room for the government to make a new decision each year on whether or not to make the deduction, based on diplomatic and other considerations.
Another co-sponsor, MK Elazar Stern, said the US passage of the Taylor Force Act earlier this year inspired Israel to act.
“We must stop the economic inventive the Palestinian Authority provides to terrorists, an incentive that encourages others to commit terror,” said Stern. “Every Palestinian youth will understand it doesn’t pay to choose the path of terror.”
On March 23, the Taylor Force Act passed in both houses of Congress, ending American aid to the PA until it definitively proves that it has stopped paying stipends to terrorists and their families.
Taylor Force, a West Point graduate and army veteran, was in Israel on a Vanderbilt University graduate program for global entrepreneurship in 2016 when he was stabbed to death by a terrorist. Taylor’s father, Stuart Force, was on hand for the vote in the Knesset.
Matan Peleg, CEO of Im Tirtzu, whose organization has been accompanying the “Choosing Life Forum” of bereaved families, praised the passing of the law.
“Rather than investing money in an industry of murder and blood, the Palestinian Authority will now need to invest in infrastructure and development,” Peleg stated. “This law is also an important correction for the State of Israel, as it is inconceivable that a civilized society would fund terrorism against its own people and would pay the salaries of those who murdered its citizens.”