Israel to Pay Terror Victims With Money Allocated to PA

Judge says evidence indicates PA responsible for attack that killed a young Israeli couple in 2001.

A Tel Aviv court has approved the temporary withholding of NIS 7 million in funds to the Palestinian Authority, in order to pay compensation to victims of a deadly terror attack in 2001.

Judge Avi Zamir said the temporary motion was carried out in order to assure that the PA would pay damages to the families of Yaniv and Sharon Bar-Shalom in a lawsuit they filed over the PA's role in the highway 443 terror attack in 2001.

Terrorists shot and killed Yaniv and his wife as they were driving on the 443 highway. Their two children were also wounded in the attack.

Zamir wrote in his ruling that there is sufficient evidence indicating the PA's responsibility for the attack, and therefore, the court must withhold a certain amount of money in order to guarantee it goes to the plaintiffs when the lawsuit goes to trial, even if they do not win all of their damages.

The family of the victims asked the court to temporarily withhold NIS 559 million in PA funds currently held by Israel, in order to assure they would receive their damages at a later date if they win the trial.

In their lawsuit, the plaintiffs argued that if the money is not withheld, it will make it very difficult for the family to receive the money if they win the lawsuit. Israel and the PA have disagreed, saying that since Israel collects NIS 200 million from the PA every month, there is no reason to fear that the money would not be attainable by the plaintiffs.

Judge Zamir has argued that because the transfer of the money is subject to security and diplomatic considerations, there is no way to guarantee the damages will be paid.