Finance minister freezes Palestinian Authority funds, citing ‘support’ for Hamas

Carrie Keller-Lynn is a former political and legal correspondent for The Times of Israel

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich says he has instructed the Finance Ministry to halt funds transferred to the Palestinian Authority and is urging the cabinet to reevaluate its policy on the transfer of funds, in light of what Smotrich characterizes as PA “support” for Hamas’s October 7 terror onslaught.

“I would like to inform you that I have instructed the Finance Ministry to stop the transfer of payments this month,” Smotrich writes to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The finance minister also requests that the cabinet discuss Israel’s policy of transferring funds collected on behalf of the Palestinian Authority — as set out by the Oslo Accords — in light of “senior PA officials’ support for the horrific massacres of the Nazi terrorist organization Hamas.”

He accompanies his request with a list of 12 inflammatory statements made since Hamas brutally murdered 1,400 people in Israel on October 7.

“The PA has once again proven the fact, which we have been raising our voices about for years, that it is a terror-supporting organization,” Smotrich writes in the letter.

“Therefore, beyond the connection of these funds to the Gaza Strip and its residents, these funds are used for activities against the State of Israel and its citizens,” he adds. “It is inconceivable that in this reality, we will continue to transfer these funds as if nothing has happened.”

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