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Israel threatens Abbas over Gaza staff cuts

Palestinians, in Gaza City, wait in a queue to withdraw money from cash points after the decision of cutting the salaries by 30% was taken by the government officials on 10 May, 2017 [Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency]
Palestinians, in Gaza City, wait in a queue to withdraw money from cash points on 10 May 2017 [Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency]

Israel has threatened the Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas saying it will withhold tax revenues it collects on behalf of the PA if he does not resume paying the salaries of staff in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli TV channel Kan revealed on Wednesday that the Israeli government conveyed a clear and firm message to Abbas stating that through his latest punitive measures he is seeking to ignite a confrontation between Israel and the Gaza Strip.

According to the channel, the Israeli government told Abbas that It is not him “who decides whether there will be a new confrontation between us and the Gaza Strip; and certainly you are not the one who sets the timing”, adding that Israel fears that Abbas’s punitive measures against the Gaza Strip will create a new confrontation in the south.

Official: Over 2m Palestinians live tragic situation in Gaza

It noted that international parties have appealed to Abbas and warned him against the continuation of imposing punitive measures against Gaza.

The channel explained that Israel has expressed its readiness to cooperate with international and regional moves aimed at preventing the collapse of the material and humanitarian situation in the sector because of its security implications and stressed that there is a well rooted conviction among the security and political circles in Tel Aviv of the need to ensure a qualitative shift in the economic and humanitarian reality there.

According to the channel, Israel is currently cooperating with Egyptian and international moves to shift the reality in the sector including moves to improve the reality of the main infrastructure there, especially water, electricity, sewage and others.

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