Jpost: PMW threatens Palestinians banks if they do not comply with Israeli terror financing laws
IDF applies Israeli terror financing laws to Palestinians in West Bank
PMW threatens Palestinians banks if they do not comply
New IDF legislation is set to crack down on terror-financing in the West Bank on May 9 – and Palestinian Media Watch threw down the gauntlet on Monday before Palestinian banks who may find themselves in the law’s crosshairs.
Combining the legislation with threat letters and potential legal actions could significantly hamper the ability of West Bank terror groups to maintain the loyalty of imprisoned Palestinian terrorists, presuming the government does not hold up the effort based on diplomatic considerations.
On February 9, the IDF Central Command issued amendment No. 67 to a key security order. This transformed facilitating the PA’s payment of monthly salaries to terrorists imprisoned by Israel into a prohibited terror-financing action.
The new IDF legislation relating to the West Bank is set to take effect on May 9.
It applies substantial parts of Israel’s still relatively new 2016 Anti-Terror Law to Judea and Samaria, especially regarding terror financing.
The new legislation declared, “that any person who conducts any transaction with assets, including money, in order to facilitate, further, fund, or reward a person for carrying out terror-related offences, is himself committing an offence punishable with 10 years in prison and a substantial fine.”
Despite the three-year delay in applying Israeli law to the West Bank, in light of the change, the PMW has written threat letters to heads of the different banks in PA areas.
In the letters, PMW warns the bank heads that if they continue to provide bank accounts facilitating the PA’s paying of salaries to terrorist prisoners, they could face personal criminal liability as well as expose their banks to civil lawsuits from terror victims worth hundreds of millions of shekels.
The media watchdog also noted that continued facilitating of financial support to imprisoned terrorists could lead to seizure of the incriminated bank accounts.
A statement by PMW said that it was irrelevant whether the funds in question were transferred directly to a terrorist or to a proxy appointed on their behalf, if that proxy is just being used as an intermediary to launder the money.
Defense Minister Naftali Bennett recently started seizing salaries which the PA has paid to Israeli-Arab terrorists.
In 2019, the government seized NIS 500 million in terror-finance funds from the PA, according to PMW based on its efforts to raise awareness regarding the issue.
The US, Netherlands and Australia have also taken various actions to ensure they do not fund so-called “pay-for-slay” initiatives of the PA.