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Abbas advisor denies PA “secret deal” with Israel

Nimer Hammad, the political advisor to Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, denied media claims that the PA signed a “secret deal” with Israel to secure the release of Palestinian tax revenues withheld since last January and estimated at $500 million.

In a statement Monday, Hammad described Israeli and Arabic media reports claiming the Palestinian leadership had signed a secret deal with Israel as “unfounded rumours”.

Israeli newspaper Jerusalem Post revealed on Monday details of what it described as a “secret deal” between the PA and Israel where the PA would suspend its plans to appeal to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague as of April 1 in return for Israel’s release of the funds.

Citing “private sources in Jerusalem”, the newspaper said the transfer of the funds was conditioned on the Palestinians maintaining their security coordination with Israel and refraining from filing claims against Israel at the ICC.

Hammad pointed out that the main reason behind Netanyahu’s decision to release the Palestinian tax revenues was the massive Arab and international pressure exerted on Israel.

Hammad said the PA will continue with the plans for Palestine to become a member of the ICC in The Hague early next month and to hold Israeli leaders accountable for their crimes against the Palestinian people.

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