Netanyahu to Stop Seizing Palestinian Tax Dollars

Orders Lapid to Immediate Resume Transfers

by Jason Ditz, March 25, 2013

Nearly four months after the policy began, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered the end to a full seizure of all Palestinian tax dollars, which was announced nominally to pay a “debt” to the Israeli govt-owned electric company.

Netanyahu says the decision has already been approved by the cabinet, and new Finance Minister Yair Lapid has been ordered to immediately resume transfers, less the four months worth that Israel is apparently just keeping.

Israel announced the end of the seizure in January as well, but after a single payment they simply stopped payments again, citing “political considerations.” The loss of tax money has left the PA-controlled areas facing massive shortfalls, with many government workers not being paid.

Under the terms of the Oslo Accords, Israel is obliged to collect certain taxes for the Palestinian Authority, amounting to around $100 million per month, the bulk of the PA’s funding. Israel regularly announces halts to the transfers however, using virtually any diplomatic row as justification for the full seizure of the money.

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