An Israeli group is offering money prizes to citizens for killing Palestinian terrorists at the scene of their attacks.
SOS Israel, an organization founded in 2003 by Rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpo to support settlement activity and educate the Israeli public about the perils of territorial concessions, announced on Wednesday that it would be offering rewards “to those who take out and neutralize terrorists attacking Jews.”
“Every Israeli citizen must be prepared at any moment to fulfill the divine and human command to immediately take out terrorists coming to kill and maim Jews. The terrorists, and primarily the Holocaust-denying terrorist Abu Mazen [PA President Mahmoud Abbas], must know that harming Jews doesn’t pay, and anyone doing so will return home in a body bag.”
This was not the first time SOS Israel has rewarded controversial conduct in conflict situations with Palestinians. In May, the group gave a NIS 1,800 ($472) reward and a certificate of honor to IDF soldier David Adamov who cocked his weapon during an altercation with Palestinian teenagers in Hebron.
SOS Israel spokesman Shai Geffen told The Times of Israel on Thursday that his organization has already distributed tens of thousands of shekels to Israelis who reacted swiftly to terrorist attacks in Jerusalem. Rewards for Israelis killing Palestinian terrorists could reach NIS 10,000 ($2,624).
“Should citizens merely stand idly by while terrorists slaughter Jews on our streets?” Geffen asked.
The recent spike in lone-wolf terror attacks has caused the Israeli security establishment to revamp immediate response protocols. Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch commended a Border Police soldier who shot and killed vehicle terrorist Ibrahim Al-Akary in Jerusalem last week.
“This is how I would like to see these attacks end,” Aharonovitch said. “A terrorist targeting civilians must be killed.”
Those comments were criticized by Israeli human rights watchdog B’Tselem, which said they encouraged vigilantism.
“This outrageous call by a government minister to break the law and carry out a summary execution should be condemned, especially coming from a minister responsible for law enforcement. The prime minister should clarify the illegality contained within the public security minister’s comments to law enforcement officials and to the public at large,” its statement read.
A number of terrorists have been apprehended alive recently, sometimes even receiving priority in medical treatment over their victims.
The Justice Ministry was not available to comment on the legality of SOS Israel’s prize offer by time of publication.