The Palestinian Authority has long maintained a controversial policy in which it pays monthly salaries to imprisoned or released terrorists convicted of attacking Israel, as well as salaries and benefits to the families of Palestinian “martyrs” killed in the act of attacking Israelis.
Israel’s Supreme Court on Sunday issued a shocking ruling in light of those payments and held that the Palestinian government was responsible for those acts of terrorism and liable to lawsuits from victims and their families, Breitbart reported.
The Israeli high court determined that the so-called “pay to slay” policy of the Palestinian Authority compensating Palestinian terrorists or their families for attacks against Israelis constituted consent and approval and therefore responsibility and accountability for such acts of deadly violence.
Palestinian Authority is liable for terror attacks
The Times of Israel reported that this case stemmed from individual lawsuits filed concerning four separate deadly Palestinian attacks that occurred more than 20 years ago in what was dubbed the Second Intifada.
A district court judge in Jerusalem had initially rejected the claims made by families of the Israeli victims but that ruling has now been overturned by the Israeli Supreme Court.
Writing for the majority, Justice Yitzhak Amit wrote, “[The PA] expresses its consent to their actions, in a manner that takes responsibility for the acts. This justifies that [the PA] will be assigned personal and direct responsibility.”
In determining that the Palestinian Authority was liable for the terrorist acts that it essentially paid for after the fact, however, the justices limited that liability to only cover direct compensation and excluded punitive damages awards in future lawsuits against the government based in Ramallah.
The case has now been sent back down to the Jerusalem district court for the exact amount of compensation for the four families to be determined.
Hundreds of millions are paid annually to terrorists and their families
Meanwhile, an organization known as Palestinian Media Watch conducted a deep dive into the finances of the Palestinian Authority in 2021 and discovered that in just 2020 alone, the Palestinian Authority had paid out roughly $181 million in monthly salaries and benefits to convicted terrorists or their families for attacks against Israelis.
It was further discovered that the Palestinian government, undoubtedly in response to international condemnation and pressure to make reforms, had begun trying to hide those continued stipend payments by funneling them through various government agencies or the unaccountable Palestinian Liberation Organization.
Israel considers stripping all state benefits from terrorists’ families
Also on Sunday, The Times of Israel noted that the Israeli government established a new committee to study the idea of stripping and forbidding various state benefits to the families of individuals convicted of engaging in terrorism.
“We are determined … to change the equation so that it will not be worthwhile to take part in terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens,” Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said. “Providing benefits from the state to terrorist families is utterly absurd and it is time to redress the injustice.”