Israel has confiscated some NIS 2.5 million ($724,000) of the tax money it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, which will be paid to three Palestinians who were subjected to torture after the P.A. accused them of working with Israel.
The three are part of a group of 52 Palestinians who sued the P.A. in the Jerusalem District Court for damages after being arrested by Palestinian authorities on charges of “collaborating” with Israel. All were tortured.
In November 2018, the Israeli Supreme Court rejected a P.A. appeal against the district court ruling in favor of the plaintiffs and ruled that the P.A. would compensate each plaintiff to the tune of NIS 450 ($130) per day of detention, even before a total amount of punitive damages for the violence to which they were subjected was decided.
However, the P.A. refused to pay, and Israel froze its assets in an attempt to force Ramallah to disburse the final sum of NIS 14 million ($4 million) to the 52 victims.
The decision to take some of the money out of the tax revenues Israel collects for the P.A. marks the first time Israel has taken such a step to enforce a court ruling.
The government said in a message issued by the Jerusalem office of the Law Enforcement and Collection Authority that one of the three plaintiffs would be allotted some NIS 550,000 ($159,000); the second NIS 978,000 ($283,000) and the third NIS 912,000 ($264,000).
Attorneys Arie Arbus and Barak Kedem, who represented the plaintiffs, said, “We congratulate the state for freezing the PA funds and delivering them to our clients. This is the beginning of historic justice for horrific acts by the Palestinian Authority, and we hope that the court will soon rule on millions of shekels more in compensation for other damages.”
This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.