New Financial Crisis Looms as Israel Withholds Millions of Palestinian Tax Money

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. (Photo: via MEMO)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

Once more, the Israeli government has decided to withhold tens of millions of dollars in tax revenues, collected on behalf of the Palestinian Authority to prevent it from supporting families of Palestinians killed or wounded by the Israeli army.

Reuters news agency reported on Monday that the Israeli government of right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not hand over nearly $43 million in Palestinian taxes over the PA’s “financial support for the families of slain or wounded Palestinian” activists.

The Israeli government had withheld hundreds of millions of dollars from the Palestinian budget in the past in order for Tel Aviv to force Mahmoud Abbas’ Authority to toe the Israeli line. In February, Tel Aviv confiscated PA funds citing Palestinian government’s support for prisoners and their families.

Under the Oslo agreement, Israel is responsible for collecting taxes on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, the current sum of which, according to Reuters, is estimated at $222 million a month. 

In a meeting with members of his ruling Fatah party, PA President Abbas admitted that the Israeli decision “will cost us a lot.” But we have rights and we will not be afraid,” he added.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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