Palestinian Prime Minister, Muhammad Shtayyeh, said yesterday that his government had refused to accept tax revenues from Israel, despite the financial crisis it is suffering.
Speaking at the Palestinian cabinet's weekly meeting, Shtayyeh said: "We are continuing with a total halt to ties with the [Israeli] occupation, and we will not allow it to blackmail us, and therefore we will not receive the tax revenues for this month."
Last May, the Palestinian Authority suspended all agreements signed with Israel in response to Tel Aviv's plans to annex nearly 30 per cent of the West Bank. Among the deals which were halted was the acceptance of tax revenues collected by Israel on behalf of the Palestinian government.
The Palestinian prime minister called on the public sector employees to show patience and steadfastness, saying: "Just as we crossed the first battle with the prisoners and martyrs' salaries; I am confident that with your patience and steadfastness we will cross this obstacle and defeat this colonial settlement project related to annexation."
For the second consecutive month, the Palestinian government will pay only 50 per cent of the salaries of government employees, due to the financial crisis it experiences after refusing to receive the tax revenues from Israel.