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Israel to seize $1.2m in assets from the Palestinian Authority

Israel’s Justice Minister Amir Ohana [Facebook]
Israel’s Public Security Minister Amir Ohana, 24 July 2019 [Facebook]

Israel's acting Justice Minister Amir Ohana last night issued an order to seize 4.2 million shekels ($1.2 million) in assets from the Palestinian Authority (PA) "as compensation for terror victims".

As reported by the Jerusalem Post, the Israeli government has "made such moves in the past, especially by temporarily freezing the transfer of money to the PA or deducting funds from its customs tax revenues".

However, the paper added, this development marks "the first time that a justice minister has taken things into his own hands" in such a way.

Given the lack of precedent, the Jerusalem Post continued, "it was unclear whether Ohana's authority was sufficient and what the ultimate outcome would be of his order", especially "given the unique diplomatic circumstances."

A further report noted that eight Palestinians convicted by Israeli occupation authorities between the period 2014 and 2017 were specifically "named in the decision".

When the eight Palestinians were convicted, they were "ordered to pay compensation in addition to [receiving] prison sentences".

"This legal-financial measure is important for the war on terror. The state of Israel has a paramount obligation to stand by the victims of terrorism, and it will do so," the report quoted Ohana as saying.

"As long as the Palestinian Authority continues to pay compensation to terrorists and their families, we will continue to collect from them money to compensate the victims."

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