The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee debated Sunday a groundbreaking proposal to offset the money Israel collects for the Palestinian Authority (PA) by funneling money given to terrorists back into the State.
MK Orit Struk (Jewish Home), one of the initiators of the bill, noted that funds given to the PA are a significant factor in encouraging terrorism against Israelis and Jews.
"Being a terrorist actually becomes a profession of choice," Struk stated during the hearing. "I did the math and saw a significant gap between the average salary of a terrorist sitting in Israeli prison and the average salary for a PA police officer is roughly 800 shekel (per month) - in favor of the terrorist."
"Are we mad?" she added. "Why do we have to pay for them to have this advantage?"
National Security Council (NSC) Yossi Cohen stated that such an offset had already been set in motion, during the course of the summer war in Gaza.
"An offset of tax money during Operation Protective Edge was set in motion and we haven't resumed [funds]," Cohen stated. "The worry is over the collapse of the Palestinian Authority, which is a significant concern that Israel also takes into account."
"The State of Israel is looking to change the paradigm and cancel the Oslo Accords, so perhaps that decision will change," he said.
"The Palestinian Authority has decided to disband the Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs, and currently there is no such office to transfer the money through to the PA government, but these terrorists continue [to receive funds] through the PLO," he added. "And no one argues that the problem does not exist."
Cohen said that the issue remains a matter of the international stance toward Israel.
"The day we try not to transfer the money, the PA will not have sanitary services or education and the sewage overflow will receive an international outcry," he said.
The PA is staggering in at least $4.8 billion in debt, recent reports revealed, and Ramallah owes Israel staggering sums, including over 1.4 billion shekels (over $360 million) in unpaid electric bills.
In June, Economics Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) compiled a report revealing that a terrorist serving 5-10 years in Israeli prison makes 4,000 shekels a month; a terrorist serving 10-15 years makes 6,000 shekels, a terrorist serving 25-30 years makes 10,000 shekels, and terrorists who are serving over 30 years make 12,000 shekels a month.