A group of bereaved families together with several Zionist organizations on Sunday submitted a petition to the High Court of Justice demanding that the Israeli government implement the “pay-for-slay” law.
In July 2018, the Knesset passed a historic law requiring the government to deduct the amount of money that the Palestinian Authority pays terrorists behind bars and their families from the taxes Israel collects for the PA. According to the law, at the end of every year, the Defense Minister is required to present the security cabinet with a report detailing how much money the PA had paid out to terrorists and their families over that year. Once the report is approved by the security cabinet, that sum is to be deducted from the PA’s tax revenues.
However, Defense Minister Benny Gantz has yet to present this report to the security cabinet, prompting the groups to file the petition. According to the groups, the PA provided some NIS 502 million ($150 million) to terrorists in 2020 alone.
The petition was submitted by attorney Yitzhak Bam on behalf of Merav and Herzl Hajaj, the parents of Lt. Shir Hajaj who was murdered in 2017; Major (res.) Shai Maimon, who was injured in a 2015 terrorist attack in which Malachi Rosenfeld was murdered; and Lavi, Choosing Life Forum of Bereaved Families, Im Tirtzu, and The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel.
The Lavi organization stated that the failure to report the PA’s support of murderous terrorists “is a moral outrage and a violation of the law. The State of Israel has an obligation to prevent the PA from rewarding the murderers of Jews, and we demand that the Prime Minister and the Defense Minister act in accordance with the law.”
The Choosing Life Forum of Bereaved Families called on the Israeli government to “stop its habit of promising to combat terrorism while simultaneously doing everything in its power to financially aid the PA and to harm deterrence by preventing the implementation of the pay-for-slay law.”
Major (res.) Shai Maimon said it was “an absurd situation in which there is an explicit law requiring the government to punish the PA for supporting terrorism, yet the government is disregarding it. It’s a pity that we need to petition the High Court for the government to carry out the law, but we have no other choice.”
The Legal Division of Im Tirtzu said: “The Israeli public is fed up with a Defense Minister who acts in a cowardly manner. We call on him to present the security cabinet with all the material that will enable it to prevent the transfer of money to those who murdered Jews.”
Attorney Yotam Eyal, CEO of the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel, noted: “The number one interest of the State of Israel is to protect its citizens and not to provide funding to those who wish to harm them.”