Israeli ‘Theft’: This Is How Much Money Tel Aviv ‘Deducts’ from PA Budget Each Month

A file photo of Palestinian teachers demonstrating outside the office of the PA's Prime Minister in Ramallah. (Photo: via QNN)

The Palestinian Ministry of Finance denied today what was published by Israeli media that the Israeli government is providing financial assistance to the Palestinian National Authority.

In a statement, the Director General of Customs, Excise Taxes, and Value Added Tax at the ministry, Louay Hanash, said the current Israeli government has, in fact illegally doubled unilateral deductions from Palestinian taxpayers’ money, contrary to what the Israeli press is claiming.

No Explanation 

Hanash, who is responsible for accounting with the Israeli side, said monthly deductions range from 240-260 million Israeli shekels, equivalent to 25 percent of the PA’s revenues from the tax money collected by Israel, noting that Israel does not give any details or explanations about these deductions.

Israel also deducts three percent of the clearing funds as a collection commission, which exceeds 35 million shekels monthly, Hanash affirmed, adding that this commission has exceeded three billion Israeli shekels over the past ten years.

Hanash highlighted what Finance Minister Shoukry Bishara demanded at the donors’ meeting, held in New York last month, where he stressed the previous Palestinian demands that require the necessity of completely abolishing this commission on fuel purchases.

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In the meeting, Bishara reinforced his position with reports issued by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund on the necessity of canceling this commission, as all transactions for these purchases are carried out electronically and directly between Israeli companies and the Palestine Petroleum Authority.

He noted that reducing the commission to 1.5 percent is insufficient and shows the extent of “the Israeli theft in this file.”

The finance minister also stressed the demands to reduce the collection commission that Israel charges on all other goods based on the cost, affirming that the World Bank estimated, in one of its reports, that it should not exceed a maximum of 0.6 percent.

During the donors’ meeting, Bishara said that solving only five of the many outstanding financial files between Israel and the Palestinian Authority would achieve financial balance in the Palestinian budget.

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Yet More ‘Deductions’ 

Meanwhile, Hanash explained that the Israeli side has punitively and illegally deducted an amount of 2.8 billion shekels in exchange for what the Palestinian Authority provides to the families of those affected by the Israeli occupation and the families of the martyrs, prisoners, and wounded.

He affirmed that these deductions are still ongoing.

Additionally, Israel deducts from Palestinian funds every month, pointing out that this policy has been ongoing for many years, which is a violation of all agreements, Hanash said.

He revealed that the Israeli government recently added a monthly deduction of 20-30 million Israeli shekels for the debts of the Jerusalem Electricity Company, noting that it is a private company.

However, the Palestinian Authority helps the company pay its loans, provides electricity subsidies, as well as supporting paying off camps’ debts, he added.

Hanash stressed that these cuts clearly reveal that Israel is responsible for the inflating financial crisis of the Palestinian Authority, affirming these cuts are the main obstacle to the development of the Palestinian economy.


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