A group of bereaved families together with several Zionist organizations on Monday submitted a petition to the High Court of Justice demanding that it compel the Israeli government to 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 gives to terrorists and their families from the taxes Israel collects for the PA.
According to the law, every year the security cabinet must reissue the order to the Finance Ministry to withhold the funds. The security cabinet has yet to give the order in 2020, prompting the groups to file the petition. According to a report, because of the coalition crisis of 2019, the defense ministers did not enforce the law that year, and payments to the PA continued through May 2020.
There may be one glaring problem with a rightwing-oriented petition calling on the High Court of Justice to order the government to alter its policy: it flies in the face of several decades during which Israel’s right has been complaining about an activist court that throws its weight around against all constitutional proportions. We can’t now do the exact same thing because it fits our interests.
The petition was submitted by the organizations Lavi, the Choosing Life Forum of Bereaved Families, Im Tirtzu and The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel.
Merav and Herzl Hajaj, the parents of Lt. Shir Hajaj who was murdered in 2017, together with Shai Maimon, who was injured in a terrorist attack in 2015 and was among the initiators of the law, also joined the petition.
According to the petition, filed by attorney Yitzhak Bam, the executive branch is obligated to carry out the law and deduct the funds from the Palestinian Authority, and the failure to do so constitutes a violation of the law.
“The citizens of Israel will not stand for the disgraceful transfer of money that is going toward paying terrorists,” said the Lavi organization. “The State of Israel has an obligation to prevent the Palestinian Authority from rewarding the murderers of Jews by freezing the funds intended to finance their salaries.”
Merav and Herzl Hajaj said that the government must do everything in its power to prevent the next terrorist attack, including the implementation of the law. “This is money going to those who have murdered our children and loved ones,” they said. “We must put an end to this blood money.”
Im Tirtzu’s Legal Division stated that “the government must fulfill its moral obligation to the people of Israel, and most of all to the bereaved families of terrorism, and implement the law. It is beyond belief that this petition even needs to be submitted in the first place.”