Palestinian security prisoners in Israel
Palestinian security prisoners in Israel
Photo: Gadi Cabelo
Palestinian security prisoners in Israel

Wanted: A smart way to starve terrorist funding

Opinion: The law to deduct stipends paid to terrorists from the tax revenue transferred to the PA has not had any impact on their allowances, coming at the cost of Palestinian healthcare and education, so Israel must find another way to strip these evildoers of their money

Uri Heitner |
Published: 02.22.20 , 22:45
Two years have passed since the "offset law" was enacted, that requires Israel to every month set aside an amount equivalent to that which the Palestinian Authority transfers to terrorists jailed in Israel from the tax money it collects on behalf of the PA.
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  • Defense Minister Naftali Bennett recently initiated an amendment to this law - an additional offset of the money transferred to families of terrorists killed while carrying out an attack.
    Palestinian security prisoners in Israel Palestinian security prisoners in Israel
    Palestinian security prisoners in Israel
    (Photo: Gadi Cabelo)
    The direction of these laws is correct: besides the military and political campaign against terrorism, we must also fight it financially to dry up its funding sources.
    The question at hand is whether these laws can actually achieve their goal?
    So far, the PA stipends for prisoners have not decreased. All funds deducted from the money transferred to the Palestinian Authority is coming at the expense of education, health and welfare.
    The cynicism of the Palestinian Authority cries to the heavens, but the law has failed to achieve its goal.
    On the contrary, this may be interpreted as collective punishment, leaving only the terrorists unscathed.
    The Palestinians will, of course, direct their criticism at us - and we are well aware of what their threats of a "humanitarian crisis" mean.
    Moreover, all the money is in the hands of Israel and the defense minister has the authority by law to release it for political or security reasons.
    It is safe to assume that a situation in which all the monies is transferred to the Palestinian Authority will come about and the Palestinians emerge from this tax crisis with the upper hand.
    A financial war on terror is vital, but Israel must find a more effective and focused tool that will affect only the people perpetuating the terror.
    This can be done through massive lawsuits by terror victims against the perpetrators of the attacks.
    Palestinians in Ramallah welcome prisoners released from Israeli internment Palestinians in Ramallah welcome prisoners released from Israeli internment
    Palestinians in Ramallah welcome prisoners released from Israeli internment
    (Photo: Gil Yochanan)
    A person affected by terrorism could press civil charges against the terrorist who carried out the attack, the driver who drove him, the person who supplied him with the ammunition, his cell commander, his cell members, the commander above the cell commander and the chain of command above him.
    If every terror victim does so - and the terror victims in this context include each and every one of the residents of the Gaza border communities - terrorism could be dealt a serious blow.
    The question is how an ordinary citizen can obtain the intelligence needed to file such a lawsuit. It would require economic resources, knowledge and intelligence personnel that are not available for the average person.
    This should be the role of the state: it must establish a special intelligence unit that will work in concert with all intelligence agencies in Israel to supply terror victims with the necessary evidence to prosecute their attacker, provide them with financial backing, mental support and means of collection.
    Eitan Rilov Eitan Rilov
    Eitan Rilov
    (Photo: Courtesy of the family)
    Security expert Eitan Rilov conceived such a plan and it should be turned into a law and adopted as state policy.
    Rilov passed away a few weeks ago. Israel should let his vision to starve terrorists of funding be his legacy.
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