February 17, 2019
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, December 9, 2018. (Marc Israel Sellem/Pool)
The security cabinet approves the implementation of a law to cut funds to the Palestinian Authority over its payments to terrorists and their families.
A statement from the security cabinet says that ministers agreed that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could withhold some $138 million in PA tax revenues, the amount it says Ramallah paid out in stipends to attackers and their families in 2018.
The law, passed by the Knesset last year, faces opposition from Israeli security officials who say further cuts to the PA budget could hurt security cooperation and destabilize the West Bank.
The government has refused to implement the measure, though politicians have faced public pressure to crack down on the PA's payments, which are viewed as incentivizing terror attacks.
Netanyahu, who is seeking reelection this April, has come under increasing pressure in the wake of the brutal murder of an Israeli teen in a terrorist attack earlier this month.
Last week, he told ministers that he would deduct the payments immediately after he received permission from the security cabinet.