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PA Receives Batch of Tax Money Collected by Israel

PA Receives Batch of Tax Money Collected by Israel

Tuesday, 8 October, 2019 - 10:45
Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh speaks during a cabinet meeting of the new Palestinian government, Ramallah, the Israeli-occupied West Bank, April 15, 2019. (Reuters)

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said on Monday said that the dispute over the tax revenues seized by Israel was not over yet, “because there is no government in Israel to make a political decision in this matter.”

He noted that the Palestinian Authority (PA) had hoped that the financial crisis would have ended by July, but since no new Israeli government was formed, there was no settlement to the issue.

On Monday, the PA received a payment of tax revenues collected by Israel on its behalf after rejecting it for eight months.

“We have received a payment of 1.5 billion Israeli shekels (about 430 million USD) and our debts to banks reached 480 million dollars, which is a serious cash-flow problem,” Shtayyeh said in the opening of his weekly cabinet meeting.

The PA has agreed to receive its dues from Israel after several months of refusal, in rejection of an Israeli decision to deduct a sum equivalent to the funds allocated to the families of Palestinian prisoners and detainees.

Last week, Hussein al-Sheikh, the Palestinian minister of civil affairs, said that following understandings reached with Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, both sides would begin discussions on a range of financial issues.

“The agreement was also on transferring a payment from the PA’s financial dues. The dispute remains over the salaries of the families of prisoners and martyrs. We are determined to pay their dues at all costs,” al-Sheikh said on Twitter.

In February, Israel announced it would cut by 5 percent the monthly tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority from imports that reach the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip via Israeli ports.

The deducted sum is equivalent to the amount of money paid by the PA to families of Palestinian martyrs and prisoners.

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