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Rights group calls for international effort to stop Israel slashing PA funds

February 19, 2019 at 11:15 am

Protests are held in the occupied West Bank on 29 October 2018 against the introduction of a news social security law which will see Palestinians’ earnings taxed [Facebook]

Al Mezan Centre for Human Rights said yesterday it is deeply concerned about the Israeli decision to deduct salaries of Palestinians killed, wounded and arrested by Israeli occupation forces from tax revenues collected on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA), a statement said.

Al Mezan added that Israeli’s actions are a violation of the Paris Protocol signed in 1994 between Israel and the PA.

Palestinian Tax Revenues - Cartoon [Sarwar Ahmed/MiddleEastMonitor]

Palestinian Tax Revenues – Cartoon [Sarwar Ahmed/MiddleEastMonitor]

This act, the statement said, “is a violation of international law, national sovereignty, public funds and all other agreements.”

The organisation reiterated that the Palestinian state is independent, as recognised by the UN on 29 November 2012. This entitles the PA to practice its right to regional sovereignty and to run its public funds.

READ: Israel drafts new law to deduct $250m from PA funds

In addition, the Israeli Act is a violation of the Vienna Deal which was approved by the UN in 1969 which does not allow any signatory to violate articles of international treaties.

The Centre also said that the deduction of the salaries of the detainees undermines all the efforts and obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention, which stipulates that the occupation state should provide welfare for the prisoners and their families.

As the Israeli occupation does not carry out its mission in this regard, Al Mezan said, the PA steps in. When Israel prevents the PA from doing this, it is violating international law.

On Sunday, the Israeli cabinet approved a bill to deduct $138 million from the PA’s tax revenue in a bid to stop prisoners’ stipends.

READ: PA refuses tax revenues from Israel