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Israel freezes Palestinian Authority tax revenue again

April 27, 2020 at 10:57 am

Palestinians hold banners during a demonstration demanding boycott against Israeli products in response to cutting of Palestinian tax revenues in Ramallah, West Bank on 6 August 2019. [Issam Rimawi – Anadolu Agency]

A court in Jerusalem decided on Sunday to freeze NIS450m ($128m) of Palestinian Authority tax revenue collected by Israeli customs, Quds Press has reported. The decision followed a lawsuit submitted by dozens of Israelis whose relatives were killed in resistance action against the military occupation during the Second Intifada.

The Israel Law Centre — Shurat HaDin — filed the complaints for the plaintiffs and asked the court to freeze NIS7.1bn ($2.16bn) of taxes collected on behalf of the PA by the Israeli customs authorities. The court decided to freeze NIS450m as a first stage, noting that the total sum could reach more than NIS2bn.

READ: UN envoy asks Israel to release Palestinian tax revenues to combat Covid-19 

PA Minister of Civil Affairs Hussein Al-Sheikh described this as “theft and piracy”. In February last year, the Israeli government enforced a 2018 law calling such a revenue freeze, claiming that this money was paid as stipends to the families of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel and those who had been killed by the occupation.

Shurat HaDin alleges that it is “at the forefront of fighting terrorism and safeguarding Jewish rights worldwide” and is “dedicated to protecting the State of Israel.” In November 2017, it was revealed that it had “admitted to being a front for Mossad, Israel’s deadly spy agency.”

Palestinian Tax Revenues - Cartoon [Sarwar Ahmed/MiddleEastMonitor]

Palestinian Tax Revenues – Cartoon [Sarwar Ahmed/MiddleEastMonitor]