Dr Mike Evans

Israel to withhold millions in funds from Palestinian Authority over its payment to families of terrorists

Israel’s security cabinet voted to hold 600 million NIS ($176 million) from the Palestinian Authority on Sunday to offset funding the group paid to terrorists and family members over the past year.

The plan expects to deduct the funding in reduced monthly payments over the next year.

The vote follows a 2018 Israeli law that requires the government to withhold the amount of money the PA pays to terrorists and their family members. In addition to the existing law, the cabinet votes as needed to approve withholdings.

Hussein al-Sheikh, secretary-general of the executive committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, expressed his anger over the report.

“The occupation government continues with its money piracy over the Palestinians’ funds and decides to deduct hundreds of millions of shekels to further embed the policy of financial blockade and steal our money in a step that adds to the daily escalation in our cities, villages and camps and the legalization of our bloodshed,” al-Sheikh said, according to the Times of Israel.

The vote comes as PA President Mahmoud Abbas reportedly called the fathers of two Palestinian shooters killed by Israeli troops in the West Bank to offer his condolences.

Despite the call, President Isaac Herzog and Prime Minister Yair Lapid held calls with Abbas in what is considered the first call between an Israeli prime minister and Abbas in five years.

The move also comes as Israel’s military reported on Monday that it had raided the homes of 39 Palestinian members of the terror group Hamas, detaining 13 wanted Palestinians with ties to Hamas.

The operation is part of ramped-up security moves after a string of terror attacks against Israel killed 19 people earlier in the year.