MK Avi Dichter (Likud) on Wednesday blasted the government for delaying the offsetting of the salaries of terrorists from the money that the State of Israel passes on to the Palestinian Authority.
Speaking to Arutz Sheva, Dichter said that the move sends a bad message from the State of Israel to the PA. "At the end of the day, the law states that at the beginning of a new year, the Ministry of Defense hands over the report on the funds paid to terrorists and families of terrorists the previous year, and then the Cabinet confirms the report and offsets the amount every month."
The amount paid by the Palestinian Authority to terrorist families in last year's report was more than half a billion shekels, he continued. "This year it should be close to seven hundred million shekels. The report, to my knowledge, was already filed at the beginning of the year. The Cabinet was supposed to approve this and the amounts were supposed to be offset each month."
"The offsetting has not started. That means we are already midway through the year and a total of 300 million should have been offset. I think it's a very bad message we are passing on to the Palestinian Authority, which sees that there is a law on the one hand but nothing is happening on the other."
"I am convinced, however, that there will be no choice and the government will have to abide by this law. Six months is a very bad lesson for the Palestinians. The Cabinet convenes, but does not discuss this issue and the Prime Minister and Cabinet members should be asked about this," said Dichter.
The Prime Minister's Office said in response, "The government will act in accordance with the law. The delay was not due to a change in approach."