Israel renews regular tax revenue transfers to Palestinians
Obviously Israel can’t complain when US releases $500 million in aid when we do it ourselves. Thus the PA escapes punishment for going to the UN for recognition. Our remaining threat is to build in E-1. No one believes that we will do it. Nor do we condition the flow of money on … on anything. Ted Belman
Just before the start of the Passover holiday on Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Israel would reinstate the regular transfer of tax revenue to the Palestinian Authority. The decision was approved by the Diplomatic-Security Cabinet.
The move came several days after U.S. President Barack Obama, while visiting Israel, called for confidence-building steps as means of resuming the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
Israel suspended the transfer of funds — about $100 million in monthly customs fees and other commercial levies it collects on behalf of the PA according to economic articles stipulated in the Oslo Accords — in November, after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas succeeded in gaining nonmember observer state status for the Palestinians at the U.N.
The cut-off was a blow to Abbas, who urgently needed the cash to pay public sector salaries at a time of growing financial strain. Officials had warned of possible unrest in Judea and Samaria if wage arrears were not covered.
Under international pressure, Israel made a transfer in January and again in February, but said at the time that decisions on whether to continue would be made on a month-by-month basis.
Netanyahu’s office on Monday said the prime minister had instructed Finance Minister Yair Lapid “to resume the transfers.” A spokesman for Netanyahu said that meant regular monthly payments would be made from now on.
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad told Reuters: “This was Palestinian money that was being withheld from us, and now these funds can be directed toward alleviating our grave financial crisis.”