Defense Minister Naftali Bennett on Wednesday authorized the seizure of hundreds of thousands of shekels’ worth of funds paid to jailed Arab terrorists and their families.
Bennett, who recently announced that he would tighten the use of economic sanctions against terrorists, ordered that salaries paid by the Palestinian Authority to eight terrorists responsible for attacks on Israel, as well as to their families, would be confiscated.
Of the eight terrorists, five have received life sentences for the terror attacks they committed.
All eight are Israeli-Arabs.
For years, the Palestinian Authority has paid out salaries to terrorists jailed in Israel, as well as to the families of jailed terrorists, and to the families of terrorists killed during attacks on Israelis.
This policy led to the passage of an Israeli law under which Israel deducts the amount of money paid to terrorists and their families from the tax transfers to the Palestinian Authority every month. Israel collects taxes from Palestinian Authority residents working in Israel on the PA’s behalf.
The defense minister’s order Wednesday is the first step by Israel to directly target the recipients of the salaries, and is aimed at removing the financial incentive provided by the Palestinian Authority for potential terrorists to attack Israelis.
According to the Defense Ministry, additional orders targeting terrorist salaries will be signed.
“We’ve started taking action,” said Bennett. “This is another step in the war against terrorists; we are working to make sure that it doesn’t pay [to spill] Jewish blood.”
Wednesday’s order is the second time Bennett has introduced new anti-terror economic sanctions, following an order targeting the assets of 47-year-old Hamas terrorist Mohammed Jamil Mahmoud Hersh, who has worked as a Hamas operative in London.