Photo by Eitan Elhadez-Barak/TPS on 22 June, 2022

Law Allowing Terror Victims to Collect Damages From Palestinian Authority Passes Knesset

Public By Pesach Benson • 12 March, 2024

Jerusalem, 12 March, 2024 (TPS) -- Legislation allowing victims of Palestinian terror to more easily claim financial compensation from the Palestinian Authority passed its final reading on Monday in a move targeting Ramallah’s “pay for slay” stipends.

The legislation, which passed by a vote 19-2, goes into effect on June 1.

Itamar Marcus, founder and director of Palestinian Media Watch, explained to The Press Service of Israel that the law means victims no longer have to prove that the PA’s terror stipends make it liable.

“Most of the judges have ruled that [the stipends] are proof of responsibility for the actions of those terrorists. Now it’s consistent with Israeli law,” Marcus told TPS-IL. “The fact that they reward terror makes them responsible. Now, the PA’s automatically held liable.”

The law also establishes a standard of compensation. A terror victim injured in an attack automatically receives five million shekels ($1.3 million) for permanent disabilities. If the victim is killed, the family receives 10 million shekels ($2.7 million).

The law also ensures that compensation that victims receive from the state through the National Security Institute will not be reduced by the same amount as the judgments.

Israeli officials say the stipends provide incentives for terror and regularly offset an equivalent amount from taxes that Israel collects on behalf of the PA. The new law allows families to collect judgments against the PA from the frozen funds.

In January, the Palestinian Authority expanded its list of beneficiaries for terror stipends, adding 3,550 Palestinians imprisoned in Israel since the October 7 massacres. According to Palestinian Media Watch, Ramallah will also make payments to more than 20,000 “martyrs,” including terrorists killed fighting Israeli forces in Gaza.

The Palestinian Authority allocates seven percent of its annual budget for its so-called “Martyr’s Fund,” which provides stipends to Palestinian terrorists in Israeli prisons, and the families of terrorists killed in attacks. The size of the monthly payouts is primarily determined by the duration of the terrorist’s incarceration, with a negligible additional factor based on family size

Ramallah has been paying out stipends for years, but the issue came under a spotlight following the murder of Taylor Force, a U.S. citizen killed by a Palestinian who went on a stabbing rampage in Jaffa in 2018. Congress passed the Taylor Force Act, which halted U.S. aid to the Palestinians as long as terror stipends are being paid out.

U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority resumed under the administration of President Joe Biden. In December 2022, American victims of Palestinian terror filed a lawsuit against the President and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, arguing that the payments violate the Taylor Force Act. Congress has examined the issue as well.