Government mulls benefit cuts for families of terrorists; Meretz minister objects
The government on Sunday approved the establishment of a committee to examine the removal of state benefits such as pensions and other grants from the families of citizens who’ve committed acts of terror.
But Regional Cooperation Minister Esawi Frej spoke out against the move.
“You do not harm the benefits of the children of citizens and residents,” Frej tweeted.
Several right-wing politicians lashed out at Frej, calling him a “terror supporter.”
“Those who are elected by the right cannot stay for even another minute in this weak and dangerous government that depends on supporters of terrorism,” opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu said.
A panel consisting of the directors of the Prime Minister’s Office, the Public Security Ministry, the Defense Ministry, the Justice Ministry and the Welfare Ministry, along with other officials, will be convened to formulate a recommendation within 60 days of its establishment.
“We are determined… to change the equation so that it will not be worthwhile to take part in terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens,” said Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. “Providing benefits from the state to terrorist families is utterly absurd and it is time to redress the injustice.”
“The State of Israel will hold anyone accountable who has a direct or indirect connection to terrorist attacks,” he added.
Israel has seen four deadly terror attacks in recent weeks and has ramped up security measures in response, as well as carried out a number of raids in the West Bank.
Such legislation has been introduced in the past but has not succeeded in passing the Knesset. It would also likely face a challenge in the Supreme Court.
Frej’s tweet followed comments made by fellow Meretz lawmaker Gaby Lasky last week, who said that payments made by the Palestinian Authority to the families of terrorists are necessary to prevent the exploitation of women and children. Lasky later apologized, saying she “did not for a moment justify the nefarious terrorist attack.”