Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz has signed seizure orders for Palestinian Authority and Hamas funds and property that had been transferred to family members of Palestinian martyrs and prisoners in Israel.
According to Jerusalem Post Newspaper, the four signed orders targeted funds transferred by both Hamas and the PA to Palestinians serving prison sentences in Israeli, as well as to family members of Palestinians who were killed during attacks.
The orders included the seizure of 187,000 shekels intended for the mother of a Palestinian who rammed his car into a crowd of people, killing a settler and a foreigner in Jerusalem in 2014.
“The seizure orders, which cumulatively amount to hundreds of thousands of shekels, were signed as part of an economic campaign by Israel against terrorism that includes the Defense Ministry’s National Bureau for Counter Terror Financing along with the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), the army, police, the foreign ministry, and other bodies,” said a statement by Gantz’s bureau.
His decision comes in light of a war declared by Israel on salaries of the families of Palestinian “martyrs and prisoners.”
Israel had earlier refused to pay the PA money that belonged to it, claiming it was using these funds to support and encourage “terrorism.”
The PA, however, rejected this claim and said it honored Palestinian heroes.
Meanwhile, the Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs denounced these orders.
It issued a statement stressing that they are “part of the escalation to loot more money belonging to families of the martyrs and prisoners.”
It affirmed that “that these funds are granted for these families to provide them with a minimum level of a decent life and allow them to overcome life challenges caused by the occupation itself.”
In late 2019, then Army Chief of Staff Naftali Bennett signed a decision to “confiscate the money transferred to 1948 prisoners and any other funds received by their families.”
The Commission urged the international community to break its silence and act immediately to put an end to the crimes committed by the occupation against families of the martyrs and prisoners.
This silence gives the occupation a green light to proceed and escalate with its crimes, it stressed.
Gantz previously Gantz issued a decree that would sanction banks in the West Bank for paying salaries for Palestinian prisoners and their families.