Israel will deduct tax revenues it collects for the Palestinian Authority by the amount paid to a Palestinian teenager who stabbed an Israeli man to death, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said Friday.
The Times of Israel reported earlier this week that the family of Khalil Jabarin, the 17-year-old terrorist who stabbed American-born Ari Fuld to death in the West Bank on Sunday, would be eligible for a monthly salary from the PA once the correct paperwork had been completed.
“I ordered a reduction of funds for the Palestinian Authority by the amount transferred to the family of the despicable terrorist who murdered Ari Fuld,” Kahlon wrote on his Twitter account.
The finance minister also said he would look into other ways “to limit the economic activity” of Jabarin’s family, but did not specify any further measures being weighed.
“Ari was a moral person, a lover of the land [and] man and a devoted father of four. May God avenge him,” Kahlon said.
Families of Palestinians who meet the PA’s definition of a prisoner are entitled to a monthly payment, according to the PA Prisoners and Liberated Prisoners law. The law defines a prisoner as “anyone in the occupation’s prisons for participating in the struggle against the occupation.” Many Palestinians who the PA defines as prisoners have carried out terrorist attacks against Israelis and others for which they are serving life sentences.
Both the US and Israel recently passed legislation targeting the PA’s practice of paying the families of security prisoners, including terrorists. The Trump Administration has since slashed hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinians and a State Department spokeswoman on Thursday defended the cuts in light of PA payments to families of terrorists.
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman on Thursday lambasted the PA for the stipends, saying such payments were “unconscionable” and said the PA’s practice of making payments to terrorists and their families was an obstacle to peace.
“The Palestinian Prisoner Affairs Commission has confirmed that the family of the terrorist who murdered Ari Fuld is ‘eligible to receive a monthly salary’ as compensation for his incarceration,” Friedman tweeted. “This practice is unconscionable and must stop if there is to be any hope for peace.”
Speaking to The Times of Israel, a spokesman for the Palestinian Authority Prisoner Affairs’ Commission had earlier denied an Israeli TV report that the PA had already sent a multi-thousand shekel advance to the Jabarin family, but made clear that such regular monthly payments would ultimately be made.
“We are not bashful or secretive about our support for our prisoners,” said the spokesman, Hassan Abd Rabbod. “The [Jabarin] family would be eligible to receive a monthly salary of NIS 1,400 ($390), if their son is not freed by Israel and it completes all the necessary documents.”
Abd Rabbo also said that if Jabarin remains in prison for several years, the sum his family receives would increase.
According to Israel’s Defense Ministry, the PA in 2017 paid NIS 687 million ($198 million) to the so-called “martyrs’ families fund” and NIS 550 million ($160 million) to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club — some 7 percent of its overall budget.
Israel has called on Palestinians for years to halt the stipends, which benefit roughly 35,000 families of Palestinians killed, wounded, or jailed in the conflict with Israel, many of them accused of involvement in terror. Israel says the stipends encourage violence.
Among the beneficiaries are families of suicide bombers and others involved in deadly terrorist attacks on Israelis.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas has condemned the US and Israeli laws and vowed to continue to make the payments.
Adam Rasgon contributed to this report.