The European Union (EU) issued a weak statement yesterday in response to the Israeli government’s decision to withhold Palestinian Authority (PA) tax revenues.
Israel’s decision to withhold some of the tax revenue funds was followed by an announcement from the PA “that it would no longer accept any tax revenues unless transferred in full”, the EU noted.
“We have been in touch with both parties and expressed our clear expectation that economic and fiscal agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority should continue to be fully implemented, including Israel’s obligations under the Paris Protocol,” the EU said.
“Meanwhile, we call on the Palestinian Authority to continue accepting the tax transfers on a provisional basis, which does not constitute a legal or political endorsement of Israeli deductions,” the spokesperson continued.
The EU described “a functioning Palestinian Authority that delivers health, education and security to millions of Palestinians” as “in the interest of both Palestinians and Israelis”, adding: “We expect both parties to avoid any steps that could risk undermining stability on the ground and the viability of a future Palestinian state.”
The EU statement concluded by saying Brussels will “continue to raise its concerns regarding the nature of the Palestinian system of payments to detainees and families of so-called ‘martyrs’”, a reference to Palestinians killed by Israeli forces.
“We expect genuine commitment from both sides towards a peaceful and negotiated two-state solution, including the need to oppose incitement,” the EU statement ended.