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Israel confiscates $29m from the PA's tax funds

Bezalel Smotrich, leader of the Religious Zionist Party (Tkuma) [AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty Images]
Bezalel Smotrich Israeli Finance Minister. [AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty Images]

Israeli Minister of Finance Bezalel Smotrich signed off orders to deduct 100 million shekels ($29 million) from the PA tax revenues, double the amount normally confiscated, in the first such move since he took office.

According to Israel's Channel 7 website, Smotrich signed the order claiming these funds would normally be transferred by the PA to the families of prisoners and those carrying out attacks against the occupation. He also ordered 200,000 shekels ($58,466) to be deducted and transferred to Jewish families who were victims of attacks carried out by Palestinians.

Smotrich accused the PA of supporting what he described as "terrorism", saying that "the Israeli Ministry of Finance is planning a series of sanctions in the wake of the security escalation and encouragement of terrorism by the Palestinian Authority."

This is not the first time that the occupation authorities have confiscated Palestinian tax revenues as "compensation" to the families of Israelis killed and injured in Palestinian resistance operations. On 8 January, Smotrich ordered the confiscation of 139 million shekels ($39 million) from the PA's funds as part of the sanctions he decided to impose on the Palestinian Authority.

READ: Israel's finance minister refuses to transfer tax money to PA

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