New bill prohibits funds for families of terrorists
The Knesset approved Wednesday a new law that prohibits funding for families of terrorists, by a 62-6 majority. All six opponents are members of Arab parties.
The new bill, adopted in a second and third hearing, allows authorities to fight terror by targeting sources of funding. The law is also meant to enable the state to take part in the international fight against sources that fund terror.
According to the new law, anyone who funds terrorists, or family members of terrorists, will be considered a financier of terror, and could face a 7-10 year jail sentence.
The law will go into effect in six-months time.
By approving the bill, Israel joins other western countries that have legislated similar laws in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. The law allows Israel to seize assets of a person or a group that has been declared a terrorist organization by a third country, even if the group's activities do not target Israel or Israelis.
The law also allows the state to punish any person who fails to report fund transfers, if the person suspects the money could be directed toward terror activity.
Donations to families of terror activists are at the center of the trial of the leaders of the Islamic Movement's northern branch, including the movement's leader Sheikh Ra'ad Saleh.
The organization transferred funds to widows and orphans in the territories for years, including kin of terrorists killed by the Israel Defense Forces.
The leaders are also accused of maintaining close ties with Hamas activists, and helping them launder donation money from overseas.
The organization continues to fund widows and orphans in the territories, however, they claim that none of the recipients are related to suicide bombers.