MK Tamar Zandberg, the new elected leader of Meretz Party
MK Tamar Zandberg, the new elected leader of Meretz Party צילום: Flash 90

The Knesset today approved a bill to withhold salaries the Palestinian Authority transfers to terrorists.

55 Knesset members supported the bill and 14 opposed. Meretz was the only Jewish faction to vote against the law and they were joined by Joint Arab List MKs.

The bill calls for the Defense Minister to submit a yearly report for Security Cabinet Committee approval summarizing the total funds paid by the Palestinian Authority intended for terror.

According to the proposed law, the amount determined in the Defense Minister's report and certified by the ministerial committee will be permanently withheld from total funds transferred to the PA in accordance with implementation provisions of the interim agreements with the Palestinian Authority. Every month an amount equal to one-twelfth of the total payment will be deducted from the payments to terrorist operatives made in the previous year.

With regard to monies that have been permanently and completely deducted, the bill states that a designated fund will be established, to be managed by the Administrator-General, to which these funds will be transferred.

The monies to be withheld and transferred to the fund will be used to execute judgments handed down in Israeli courts against the PA or terrorist operatives, for paying compensation to victims of offenses that were heard in courts in Israel or in the Judea and Samaria region, in rulings against terrorist operatives, and for carrying out projects and missions to strengthen the fight against terror and terror financing, to be approved by the Minister.

Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben Dahan (Jewish Home) presented the bill to the Knesset on behalf of the Government of Israel.

"The State of Israel says, 'No more,'" said Ben Dahan, "We'll fight terrorists not only by capturing and bringing them to justice, but also after they've been imprisoned. We'll continue to fight terrorists, their families, and those who finance them. We will demonstrate zero tolerance for terrorism.

"According to defense establishment data, the Palestinian Authority pays more than NIS 1 billion a year to terrorists and their families. Imagine how many kindergartens and schools could have built with this amount. Instead of investing in education and health, instead of caring for the residents of Gaza, the PA is concerned about encouraging terror."