Knesset: Palestinians will pay for Qassam damages
Knesset green-lights preliminary reading of bill proposing Palestinian Authority be forced to pay financial damages incurred by Qassam rockets fired from PA territory. MK Israel Hasson: 'A man condemned to death is being forced to buy his executioner's rope'
Will Israel use tax funds intended for the Palestinian Authority to cover the mounting costs of damages caused by Qassam rocket attacks in communities situated near the Gaza border? The possibility grows
In a 37-23 vote on Wednesday, Knesset members voted to give the preliminary go-ahead to a new bill proposed by MK Israel Hasson (Yisrael Beiteinu) and Limor Livant (Likud) that would allow Israel to appropriate taxes collected by Israel for the PA and use the money as compensation for the damage incurred by rocket attacks from Palestinian territory.
Earlier this week, the Ministerial Committee on Legislation, headed by Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann, voted to approve the measure.
According to the proposed new law, funds intended for the PA will cover costs pertaining to the evacuation of Gaza-vicinity residents, property damage, mental health ailments suffered as a result of the continuing attacks, lost workdays and even psychological treatment.
Hasson and Livnat also propose to use the money to pay for installing protective barriers to guard against falling projectiles from Gaza.
"I am happy that Knesset members' healthy logic has overcome the government's opposition," Hasson said after the vote.
"In order to for them to see Sderot's children from Annapolis and for those who hallucinate about hearing the trumpet blare at a peace ceremony (they need to) listen to the frightening calls for help coming from the residents of the south.
"I believe that the time has come that we hold the PA responsible for the actions of its people," Hasson added.
"The bill proposed is practical and represents the basic principles of justice, and that is the reason that it needs to be a nonpartisan matter and it is unthinkable that it would be opposed by any Zionist party.
"It is inconceivable that close to $510 million are transferred annually to the PA and people in Sderot must turn to philanthropists for fortification and rehabilitation. In general, I am not familiar with any precedent whereby a man condemned to death must also buy his executioner's rope," Hasson said.
Bill deems PA responsible for Qassams
The new bill pins responsibility for stopping the rocket fire in the south squarely on the PA's shoulders and claims that the launchings are financed by the PA or its representatives.
The proposed law would give the courts the authority to sort out the administrative matters of implementing the law. The finance minister would be in charge of putting the law into place and officials from the ministry would take responsibility for appraising the value of property damage caused by the rockets.