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Israel to hold $35m from Palestinian money

June 11, 2024 at 2:27 pm

Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich gives a speech, regarding the ceasefire proposal between Israel and Hamas, in front of the Israeli Parliament in Jerusalem on June 3, 2024 [Saeed Qaq – Anadolu Agency]

Israel’s far-right Finance Minister, Bezalel Smotrich, decided Tuesday to deduct some $35 million from the Palestinian tax revenues, Anadolu Agency reports.

In a statement, Smotrich said that the withheld money would be transferred to Israeli families whose members were killed in Palestinian attacks.

Last week, the Shin Bet domestic security agency warned that the Israeli government policies against the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the Occupied West Bank may lead to its collapse.

The PA paid only 50 per cent of salaries to civil servants last month following an Israeli decision to hold tax revenues from the Ramallah-based authority.

The tax revenues – known in Palestine and Israel as maqasa – are collected by the Israeli government on behalf of the PA on Palestinian imports and exports and Israel, in return, earns a commission of 3 per cent.

The revenues are estimated to total around $220 million every month and represent the main source of income for the PA.

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