Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah "Israel to release $473mn in withheld pa tax Revenues" (Photo : MEMO)
Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah “Israel to release $473mn in withheld pa tax Revenues” (Photo : MEMO)

Ramallah, 1 Rajab 1436/20 April 2015 (MINA) – The Israeli government announced Sunday that it will be releasing this week $1.85 billion shekel (roughly $473 million) in withheld taxes collected on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA), according to Israeli radio.

“Israel decided to transfer the PA’s tax revenues out of keenness to maintain political stability in the region and other humanitarian consideration,” Israeli radio quoted an unnamed security source as saying, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.

On Saturday, Palestinian Civil Affairs Minister Hassan al-Sheikh told pressmen that Israel will be transferring Palestinian tax on Sunday or Monday at the latest.

A day earlier, Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said that Israel has agreed to disburse withheld Palestinian tax revenues in their entirety.

He added that the Israeli government had agreed to transfer the funds – covering four months, from December 2014 to March 2015 – to his government.

He did not say, however, how his government had reached agreement with Israel or when exactly the funds would be disbursed.

Earlier this month, PA President Mahmoud Abbas refused to receive tax revenues collected by Israel claiming the amount was “incomplete.”

“We didn’t accept the amount and sent it back: we told them that we either resort to arbitration regarding these funds that they label as debts, or take the matter to the International Criminal Court [ICC],” Abbas said.

Israel collects around $175 million every month in taxes on Palestinian imports and exports on behalf the Palestinian Authority.

In January, however, Israel decided to halt the transfer of December tax revenues in retaliation for the PA’s decision to apply for membership in the International Criminal Court. Tax revenue represents the PA’s main source of income.

The Palestinian government was only able to pay 60 percent of January’s public-sector salaries after borrowing from local banks. (T/P002/R03)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)



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