Bill proposal: PA to pay terrorists' medical bills
The fact that Israel treats injured terrorists and even evacuates them to hospitals where they receive expensive medical care has sparked a public and political debate for years; a new law seeks to change this reality and force the Palestinian Authority to bear the costs of treatment.
The Ministry of Public Security presented new legislation on Tuesday proposing to impose costs of terrorists' medical expenses on the Palestinian Authority.
The bill, which went up for discussions at the Knesset's Labor, Welfare and Health Committee, proposes to add a new clause to the National Health Insurance Law that would restrict medical care "for those who take part in terrorist activity" and exempt Israel from footing terrorists' medical bills.
"According to the policy change I am promoting, the damned terrorists should only receive the bare minimum required by international law. I am working towards reducing their conditions," said Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan.
"In this framework, I decided that it is inconceivable that the state pays for the medical expenses of terrorists who committed heinous acts of terror, and therefore I asked to correct this distortion of justice," he added.
Although the proposed amendment does not preclude medical treatment, which is required under international law, it does exempts Israel from funding terrorists' medical bills by allowing the deduction of medical expenses from regular tax payments Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, which uses these payments to provide terrorists with generous stipends.
The medical care in question is expensive and often includes complex surgeries and long-term hospitalizations.
The Ministry of Public Security estimates that the Israel Police pays NIS 2 million annually to provide medical treatment for terrorists injured in terror attacks, while the Israel Prison Service (IPS) finances an additional NIS 20-25 million annually for medical treatment given to security prisoners.
According to the proposed amendment, which was prepared by Likud MKs Anat Berko and Nava Boker, "the rationale behind this proposition is that anyone who acts out an ideology that undermines the existence of the state will not receive medical care funded by the same civilians he sought to harm. Anyone who chooses to join forces with Israel's enemies and suffers injuries as a result will pay his medical expenses himself."