An Israeli military court has imposed an unprecedented stiff penalty for financing terrorism in a landmark ruling aimed at deterring other supporters of terrorism in the future, The Jerusalem Post reported on Monday.
The IDF Yehudah and Shomron Appeals Court fined a woman who had transferred money to Hamas half of the sum involved, more than double the lower court ruling. In similar cases in the past, court-imposed fines were as little as 10 percent of the money given to Hamas.
The appeals court judge, Lt.-Col. Zvi Lekach, handed down a fine of NIS 50,000 on a NIS 100,000 transfer by Rasmia Balauma to Hamas.
Judge Lekach said that he recognized that “the fines that have been imposed until now did not reach” anywhere near “the amounts transferred” by those convicted, “and were even substantially lower than them.”
“It seems to me,” Lekach said, “that the time has come to set new punishment policies” since “there exists a great and significant need to fight terrorism financing.”
In addition, the court left open the option for fines equal to the amount transferred, as had been requested by chief IDF prosecutor Lt.-Col. Maurice Hirsch, who took the unusual step of personally arguing the appeal.