Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said yesterday that his government would form a legal team to follow up on Israel’s “piracy” of Palestinian tax money, Quds Press reported.
During the weekly government meeting Shtayyeh said that the team would follow up on the “deductions from the wages of Palestinian workers, funds for medical transfers and electricity, water and sewage bills.”
Shtayyeh added that his government had received the first instalment of the Qatari loan which was pledged in May, as part of Doha’s assistance package.
The package consists of $480 million and includes a $50 million grant, $250 million in loans and $180 million in humanitarian assistance for Gaza residents and for electricity.
The government would pay only 60 per cent of employees’ salaries in the besieged Gaza Strip and occupied West Bank, the PM explained.
Last year, Israel passed a law allowing it to confiscate nearly $11.3 million a month from tax revenues it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority.
In response to the Israeli decision, which came into force in February this year, the Palestinian government refused to receive the deducted tax revenues causing it to suffer a severe financial crisis.
In late May, the Israeli government transferred nearly six million shekels ($1.65 million) from the Palestinian tax revenues to the family of an Israeli soldier who was killed during the Second Intifada 16 years ago.