Abbas says Palestinian Authority refuses partial tax payment from Israel

Abbas says Palestinian Authority refuses partial tax payment from Israel

RAMALLAH, (Rahnuma):  Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Monday that the Palestinian Authority will not accept partial payment of its tax transfers owed by Israel.

Abbas made the remark while chairing a meeting of the newly formed Palestinian cabinet, warning that Israel is seeking to legalize its deduction of the taxes collected on behalf of the Palestinian Authority.

He confirmed that the Palestinian Authority will uphold its financial support to families of those killed or jailed by Israel despite the move.

Hussein Al-Shaikh, a member of the Central Committee of Abbas’ Fatah party, affirmed on Monday morning that he had met with Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon on Saturday and returned all tax transfers because of the deduction.

According to Israeli media, Israel had secretly transferred nearly 182 million U.S. dollars of tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority to “prevent its collapse because of its financial crisis.”

According to agreements signed between Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel in 1994, Israel collects taxes from the Palestinian trade and commercial movement and pays it back to the Palestinian Authority.

Israel decided in February to deduct these tax revenues, saying the deducted money was paid to families of Palestinians who carried out “terrorist acts” against Israel.

The Palestinian Authority is facing the risk of an increasing budget deficit because of Israeli pressures and U.S. aid cuts.

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