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Israel to Deduct From PA’s Collected Funds

Israel to Deduct From PA’s Collected Funds

Monday, 30 November, 2020 - 09:45
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at his headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah on May 7, 2020. (Nasser Nasser/Pool/AFP)

The Israeli government will deduct about 600 million shekels from the Palestinian Authority’s tax revenues before transferring the funds.

The security cabinet approved on Sunday to transfer 2.5 billion shekels in tax funds it has been holding for the PA as part of a resumption of cooperation between the two.

According to the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation (Kan), Israel informed the Palestinian side of its decision during the two recently held meetings.

Since the PA announced resuming relations with Israel and its approval to receive the collected tax funds, meetings between representatives of the PA and Israel have been held, during which Israelis informed Palestinians that the deductions will be implemented in accordance with an Israeli law.

Earlier this month, the PA announced resuming security and civil coordination with Israel following a six-month standoff.

Since May, the PA has been refusing to accept monthly tax transfers from Israel as long as it deducts from the collected money and in protest against Israel’s plan to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.

Israel had enacted legislation in 2018 to financially penalize the PA for paying stipends to Palestinians jailed by Israel, their families, and the families of those killed by Israeli forces.

The law orders holding back part of the $190 million a month in customs duties levied on goods destined for Palestinian markets that transit through Israeli ports, under interim peace agreements.

News circulated indicates that the accumulating funds with Israel are estimated at about one billion dollars.

These funds constitute the largest proportion of the PA’s budget.

During the past period, the PA was forced to borrow from banks to pay parts of its employees’ salaries.

These funds will alleviate the financial crisis and help pay employee dues and other obligations.

The PA promised employees who went on strike weeks ago to pay their full salaries this month.

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