Israel’s Knesset [parliament] passes long debated law that will permit deduction of funds from tax revenues it transfers to the Palestinian Authority, equal to PA’s ‘terror payments’ annual budget.
The Israeli parliament on Monday passed a law that will slash tax transfers to the Palestinian Authority (PA) unless welfare payments to convicted terrorists and their families are stopped.
First mooted by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu two years ago, it sailed through the Knesset with 87 votes in favor and just 15 against.
Israel collects tax from Palestinians in the West Bank and then transfers the funds to the PA.
After the law comes into force, payments made by the PA to Palestinian security prisoners and their families would be deducted from the tax revenue given to Ramallah.
The law’s passage was welcomed by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman.
“Every shekel Abu Mazen pays terrorists and murderers will be automatically deducted from the PA budget,” he tweeted, using an Israeli nickname for PA President Mahmoud Abbas “An effective war on terror is also fought through the pocket — of the terrorists, of their families and of, Abu Mazen.”
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Palestinian leaders have previously argued that the payments are a necessary form of welfare to families who have lost their main breadwinners, and that cutting them would be politically impossible.
The United States Congress passed a law with a similar intention in March.
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