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PA receives $114m withheld tax revenue from Israel, says Norway

February 29, 2024 at 4:07 pm

Israeli shekels. [Christopher Furlong/Getty Images]

The Palestinian Authority has received 407 million shekels ($114 million) from Israel with more funds on the way in the coming days, Reuters has reported. This follows a deal to release frozen tax funds collected by the occupation state on behalf of the PA, the Norwegian government said on Thursday.

Norway revealed on 18 February that it had agreed to assist in the transfer of funds earmarked for the PA, providing some crucial funding for the Western-backed entity.

“This money is absolutely necessary to prevent the collapse of the Palestinian Authority, to ensure that the Palestinians receive vital services, and that teachers and health workers are paid,” explained Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere.

The PA exercises limited self-governance in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Under interim peace accords reached in the 1990s, Israel’s finance ministry collects tax on behalf of the Palestinians and makes monthly transfers to the PA. However, a dispute broke out over payments in the wake of the 7 October attack on Israel by Hamas.

The Islamic resistance Movement was elected in 2006 to lead the PA, but Israel and its Western allies rejected the result of the election, even though it was declared to be “free and fair” by international observers. Boycotted and besieged by Israel and its allies ever since, Hamas has been the de facto government of the Gaza Strip.

Under the agreed solution, Norway serves as an intermediary, holding tax revenue equal to the portion that Israel estimates would have gone to Gaza, while the PA in Ramallah would receive the rest, the Nordic country has said.

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