Israel votes to withhold Palestinian tax to cover PA payments for terrorists’ families
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Israel votes to withhold Palestinian tax to cover PA payments for terrorists’ families

New law passed amid defence ministry claims that the Palestinian Authority paid £150m to a fund for families of terrorists killed

Hamas terrorists surround a child dressed as a suicide bomber.
Hamas terrorists surround a child dressed as a suicide bomber.

Israeli politicians have voted to withhold Palestinian taxes equivalent to the amount that Palestinian officials pay the families of convicted terrorists.

The new Israeli law, which came in as Australia said it would also be cutting millions of dollars’ in aid to the Palestinians, was passed by 87 votes to 15, with only left-wing party Meretz and Arab parliamentarians voting against.

While the amount withheld is yet to be confirmed, Israel’s Defence Ministry said the Palestinian Authority paid £150m ($198 million) to a fund for families of terrorists killed in the course of their actions, and roughly $160 to the families of those jailed.

The vote follows similar legislation introduced in the United States, which ends US aid unless the Palestinian Authority ends its stipend to terrorists’ families.

The US also announced that it was halving its funding to the UN Relief and Works Agency, which support Palestinian refugees, in response to a UN vote criticising Donald Trump’s decision to relocate the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. In response the UK brought forward £10 million from next year’s allocation, citing the agency’s “exceptional cash flow challenges”.

This week’s Israeli vote came as Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop cut the country’s £5.6m ($7.4 million) donated to the Palestinian Authority through the World Bank, saying that paying those convicted of politically-motivated violence “is an affront to Australian values, and undermines the prospect of meaningful peace”.

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