Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) blasted Palestinian Authority funding for jailed Arab terrorists Tuesday, and called on the Israeli government to halt payments to the PA in light of the rapprochement between the Ramallah-based PA and the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip.
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas recently restated his commitment to fund Arab terrorists jailed for attacks on Israelis, defying Israeli and US demands the PA stop rewarding terror.
"Israel and the US says that this is supporting terrorism...I will not back down on this issue. The families of the martyrs will continue to receive their allowances in full." he added.
Despite the PA’s continued support for terrorists and warming ties with Hamas leaders in Gaza, Israel has not suspended the transfer of tax payments to the PA, collected by Israel from PA workers employed in pre-1967 Israeli towns.
On Tuesday morning, Bennett decried this arrangement, which he claims aids a de facto “Hamas government led by Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas).”
“Israel needs to stop being terrorism’s ATM,” said Bennett. “This isn’t reconciliation, continued Bennett – Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) has simply joined a murderous terror organization.”
“Transferring money to the Hamas government is the equivalent of Israel giving money to ISIS. We’re going to be repaid with missile fire.”
The Education Minister also laid out three conditions Israel must impose for money transfers to the PA, including the return of the remains of fallen IDF soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul; official recognition of the State of Israel by the Hamas terror group; and an end to the PA’s funding for jailed terrorists and anti-Israel propaganda.
Bennett added that he intends to raise the issue at the next security cabinet meeting.