Israel to Resume Tax Revenue Transfer to Palestinians
JNS.org – Israel announced that it will resume the transfer of tax revenue to the Palestinian Authority (PA), which it suspended earlier this year over the PA’s decision to join the International Criminal Court.
“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved the recommendation submitted by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, the Israel Defense Forces, and the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) to transfer tax revenues that accrued in recent months to the Palestinian Authorities,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.
The statement cites “humanitarian considerations” as well as the “overall view toward serving Israel’s interests at this juncture” as the reasons for the decision. Since winning re-election, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has taken some steps to ease international concerns about his commitment to a two-state solution.
As part of the Oslo Accords, Israel is responsible for collecting tax and custom duties on behalf of the PA for goods arriving in Israeli ports; Israel normally transfers around $130 million per month.
Since Israel’s decision to halt transfers on Jan. 2, more than $550 million had been withheld from the PA, which has forced the Palestinian leadership to cut employee salaries by up to 40 percent and rely on an emergency budget, the Jerusalem Post reported.