Lawmakers pushed forward Monday with a bill allowing the government to hold up money to the Palestinian Authority over its payments to convicted terrorists, a policy critics say encourages terror attacks on Israelis.Palestine Times reports that Hanan Ashrawi wants the international community to protect PLO payments to terrorists. Really.
The bill, which passed its first reading on a 55-14 vote, would leave the government’s top-level security cabinet with the final say on whether to “freeze” transfer payments to the PA to offset the stipends.
It will now move to committee and must still pass two more Knesset plenum readings before becoming law.
According to the Defense Ministry, the Palestinian Authority in 2017 paid NIS 687 million ($198 million) to the so-called “martyrs’ families fund” and NIS 550 million ($160 million) to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club — some 7 percent of its overall budget.
Palestinian prisoners serving 20-30 year sentences for carrying out terror attacks are eligible for a lifetime NIS 10,000 ($2,772) monthly stipend, the Defense Ministry said, citing PA figures. Those prisoners who receive a 3-5 year sentence get a monthly wage of NIS 2,000 ($554). Palestinian prisoners who are married, have children, live in Jerusalem, or hold Israeli citizenship receive additional payments.
The Defense Ministry on Sunday released figures alleging that some terrorists who killed Israelis will be paid more than NIS 10 million ($2.78 million) each throughout their lifetimes by the PA.
Critics of the current bill have warned it could bankrupt the PA, leading to its collapse.
Member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization Hanan Ashrawi condemned the Knesset vote on the first reading of a bill to deduct the salaries of prisoners and allocations of families of the martyrs of the tax revenues collected by Israel for the Palestinian government, describing it systematic and deliberate looting of the rights of our people.Yes, Hanan Ashrawi is defending paying terrorists as a human right.
Ashrawi said in a statement on behalf of the PLO: "The organization considers the legislation that Israel is launching in order to serve its occupation and continue its policy of eliminating the existence of our people on its land to be totally racist and inhuman."
At the end of her statement, Ashrawi called on the international community to take a serious view of Israeli violations and crimes, to stop the policy of disregard and negligence towards its crimes, to take deterrent and punitive measures against it and to hold it accountable for its ongoing crimes and violations and to provide urgent international protection to our unarmed people.
It sounds bizarre now, but in a few years the UN General Assembly will probably pass a resolution to protect the Right to Encourage Terrorists to Kill Jews.