Knesset supports bill to deduct PA payment to terrorists from tax money

By a 55-14 majority, the Knesset on Monday approved a bill to deduct money paid to terrorists by the Palestinian Authority from its monthly tax revenue. The bill still needs to pass its second and third readings.
Relatives of Palestinian terrorists display their pictures in the West Bank Photo credit: Ahmad Gharabli, Flash 90

An overwhelming Knesset majority voted on Monday in favor of a bill to deduct money paid to terrorists by the Palestinian Authority from its tax revenues.

Israel collects the Palestinian Authority's tax money on its behalf. If the bill passes its second and third readings, it will allow Israel to deduct the sums of money given to terrorists each month from the overall sum of tax revenues. The bill also proposes that the Israeli cabinet be authorized to freeze the transfer of tax money under certain conditions.

In a tweet, Israel's Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman called to put an end to "the madness of us giving money to the Palestinian Authority so they can use it to encourage acts of terror against us."

Despite a 55-14 majority and the fact that the bill received support from both coalition and opposition parties, the voting process was interrupted several times by members of the Joint Arab List, all of whom opposed the bill. MK Ahmad Tibi denounced what he called "the system whereby the money of the Palestinian people is withheld by the Ministry of Finance, which is supposed to act merely as a channel through which to transfer the money."

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