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Israel is upping the costs for ’terror’

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Israel has begun to employ new means of collective punishment for the families of alleged Palestinian ‘terrorists’: Lawsuits to cover the state expenses in conjunction with its slain security personnel’s headstones and reimbursement of benefits the state pays to their families.

The first case is that of Fadi Qanbar, who in January ran over a group of soldiers in East Jerusalem, killing four soldiers, himself shot dead on scene.

The State is claiming $2.3 million from Qanbar’s widow (with four children aged 1-8), for its expenses including the soldiers’ headstones and for reimbursement of benefits the state pays the soldiers’ families. This occurs after already having sealed the East-Jerusalemite family’s home with cement, and after proceedings were also begun to strip 12 of his relatives – including Qanbar’s mother and his sister’s young children – of their residency status so they could be expelled to the West Bank, as Nir Hasson reported in Haaretz.

So we have this massive collective punishment, including destruction of the family home and punishing even secondary relatives (planned deportation of Qanbar’s sister’s children). How much more illegality and cruelty can one even conceive? On top of that, Israel is demanding expenses for tombstones of its security forces and benefits to their families.

The latter is to be looked at as a mirror image of Israel’s campaign against the PLO’s paying of financial support to families of security prisoners and families of Palestinians who were killed in attacks on Israelis – what Israel generally appraises as ‘rewarding terrorists’ (note as well, that hundreds of the Palestinian prisoners are held without charge under Israel’s infamous ‘Administrative detention’).

Recently President Trump’s envoy Jared Kushner reportedly angered PA President Abbas when he took this issue up in their talks:

“The American delegation accepted Israel’s position with regard to paying salaries to prisoners,” a Palestinian source told Ynet, “and described it as a means of inciting terror, demanding it be stopped.” 

Kushner also suggested another compromise, proposing that the PA stop paying the salaries of an estimated 600 Palestinian prisoners sentenced to life by Israeli courts. Abbas reportedly rejected the proposal.

Israel is currently working on a bill to slash about 285 million USD annually from its tax returns due the PA, as a means of compensating (or rather punishing) for the economic support the PLO is estimated to be paying to the families.

So, Israel is honoring its ‘heroes’ and providing grants to their families. Fair enough. But when Palestinians do it, it’s ‘incitement to terror’. And in any case, why should the family of a slain Palestinian pay for this service that Israel decides to provide?

Let’s also take a look at the exorbitant demand of the Qanbar family: $2.3 million USD. Even taking Palestinian Media Watch’s generous estimation of the support paid to Qanbar’s widow: $760 per month. That’s about $9.000 per year. She would need about 250 years to cover the amount Israel demands.

Supposedly, such draconian economic measures are meant to serve as ‘deterrence’, since the house demolition (sealing) was perhaps not enough. But even the house demolitions have been recognized by authoritative Israeli military panels to be of no meaningful effect. In 2005, an Israeli army panel headed by Major General Udi Shani reported that punitive demolitions had no deterrent effect that would prevent any future “terror” attacks. The Shani panel

“unequivocally recommended putting an end to the demolition of homes in the territories [and] the chief of staff and the defense minister both fully endorsed and adopted the recommendation”.

But in 2008, Israel’s then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak put it back into practice.  

By coincidence, two days ago the Israeli Supreme Court rejected an appeal by the family of Muhammed Abu Khdeir, the 16-year-old Jerusalem boy who was burned alive by Israeli Jewish terrorists in 2014, to have the homes of those terrorists demolished. The Israeli Defense Ministry told them in a letter that there was no need to demolish the homes of Jewish terrorists at this stage, as such attacks are too infrequent to warrant the deterrent action. The court also noted that the practice is only justified for its possible deterrent power, and so must be carried out in the immediate aftermath of a terror attack and have a reasonable chance of deterring future attacks. Given the long delay between the attack and the filing of the appeal for demolition, the specific appeal in this case was rejected.

But that’s just legal nonsense, because the demolitions have no deterrent effect in the first place, as Israel’s own authorities determined. One wonders whether the Supreme Court made some special survey on how non-deterrent the demolitions are when carried out ‘immediately’ as opposed to how non-deterrent they are if carried out with ‘long delay’…

Perhaps Israel will do a special survey, checking up on the Qanbar family after 250 years, when they have paid their debt, to see if they indeed have behaved themselves in the meantime.

About Jonathan Ofir

Israeli musician, conductor and blogger / writer based in Denmark.

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7 Responses

  1. Ossinev
    July 6, 2017, 1:17 pm

    Sad,twisted,sick,pathetic,gruesome people who have long ago crossed the Fascist threshold.

    They should be shunned and ostracised by every civilised human being who has the misfortune to encounter them.

    Those few remaining truly moral Jewish Israelis must be looking on in horror at what is unfolding around them.

    • Citizen
      July 6, 2017, 2:31 pm

      I don’t think Sheldon Adelson will be reading your comment. SCOTUS says $ is free speech, including political speech.

    • echinococcus
      July 6, 2017, 5:42 pm


      Those few remaining truly moral Jewish Israelis must be looking on in horror at what is unfolding around them

      They don’t have to. All they got to do is do the right thing: pull up stakes and go. Easy, good for the conscience and a guaranteed improvement in quality of life, too.

      • JosephA
        July 6, 2017, 6:45 pm

        I read that Israelis are emigrating in large numbers. And by Israelis, I was mainly referring to Jewish Israelis.

  2. amigo
    July 6, 2017, 4:26 pm

    When the zionists finally lose ,and they will , they can expect to be hounded wherever they go .The Palestinians will need “A zio Hunter ” and a squadron of Lawyers to hunt down and take every last shekel/dollar/franc/euro etc from them.I mean this to apply to any zio who in any way contributed to the crimes of the zionist entity , whether it be through physical acts or through propagandising for the rogue regime. That would include the paid or unpaid hasbarista that spew their bile on here.Show them the same mercy they gave to the Palestinian people.

    As for their leaders, well , that,s a different barrel of fish.Their families should be denied an income to make up for the crimes of their spouses/mothers, fathers,sisters,brothers,sons ,daughters et al.It,s all in there in the law of the Land of Israel so it must be legal and moral.


  3. Kay24
    July 6, 2017, 7:58 pm

    Imagine the greed displayed by these zionists. They sponge off the US like parasites, and then want to punish innocent family members, including widows with little children asking for compensation.
    Did the soldier who assassinated a wounded Palestinian pay compensation to his family?
    Did the terrorists who killed young Muhammed Abu Kdheir, pay compensation to his family?
    How many families of Palestinian massacred by Israelis have been compensated?
    So why is this so called effort to deter, only one sided?

  4. kev
    July 7, 2017, 8:54 am

    In discussing the disparity of treatment of victims such as Mohammed Abu Khdeir and the Jewish soldiers who were run over, you neglect to mention the disparity in what Israel believes is the value of Palestinian lives versus the value of Jewish lives: Abu Khdeir’s family was awarded about 40,000 dollars, while Israel is seeking 2.3 million, or over 550,000 dollars per soldier that was killed. And the family of Abu Khdeir’s killer are not on the hook for paying even that paltry 40,000. The killer was ordered to pay the restitution, and since he is in jail for life, he will never have any earnings with which to pay, and I doubt that Israel will go after his assets, like his home, because it would harm his family. So once again, Israeli settler Jews get preferential treatment even when committing horrific crimes against Palestinians because Israel does not really value life, only Jewish life.

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