As part of his Hanukkah speech, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman vowed to see the Israeli government continue to seize the entirety of the Palestinian Authority’s tax revenue for at least the next four months, and possibly much longer.
Israel has often used the seizure of Palestinian tax revenue as a way of expressing anger, and the latest round of seizures came after the UN recognition of Palestine, though some officials suggested it was simply a way of paying the Israeli state-owned electricity company money it was owed.
Lieberman insists the PA owes the Israeli government far more, and that the money seized will be used to “offset the debt,” and that after the money is paid back then Israel will decide whether or not to resume transfers or just keep seizing it.
The PA is already on the brink of bankruptcy, and the continued capture of their revenue is liable to mean government employees won’t be paid. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has suggested that he may turn to the International Criminal Court to ensure that Israel follows through with its treaty obligations to pass on tax revenue collected on their behalf.
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