by Yair Altman and Israel Hayom Staff
Bill aims to redirect taxes collected by Israel on PA's behalf to war on terrorism, compensation to victims
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman
Photo: Yossi Zamir
The Ministerial Committee on Legislation on Sunday approved a bill to deduct the salaries the Palestinian Authority pays terrorists and their families from the tax funds collected by Israel for the PA.
Under the 1993 Oslo Accords, a mechanism was set up for Israel to collect taxes – value added tax and customs fees – on behalf of the Palestinian Authority and transfer the money to the PA.
Those funds amount to about $100 million a month, and the PA uses a considerable portion of them to finance the stipends it pays to terrorists and their families. In 2017, it spent a total of 1.23 billion shekels ($358 million), or 7% of its total budget for the year, on those stipends.
The so-called "terrorist wages bill," sponsored by Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, stipulates that at the end of each fiscal year, the defense minister will present the Ministerial Committee on National Security with a report detailing the direct and indirect payments the Palestinian Authority has made to terrorists and their families. The figure will then be deducted from the tax funds collected by Israel for the PA.
The deducted funds will be placed in a special fund and used in three ways: to implement verdicts in Israel in terrorism cases, for example by paying restitution to the victims; to improve civilian infrastructure such as roads, lighting and security component in Judea and Samaria; and to fund projects linked to the war on terror.
"The terrorist wages bill that I'm promoting has been approved by the Ministerial Committee on Legislation. This will soon put an end to this theater of the absurd, and the funds we take from Abu Mazen [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] that would have been paid to terrorists will be used to prevent terrorism and compensate the victims," Lieberman said.
Yair Altman and Israel Hayom Staff
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