Israel withholds PA tax revenues after Palestinian reconciliation
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — Israel has decided to freeze tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority in response to the reconciliation signed by ruling parties in Palestine.
Israel sees the unity agreement as a threat to the future of its relations with the PA as it has classified Hamas as a terrorist organization, the Israeli daily Ynet said on Sunday.
The occupation country fears that elections could put resistance forces in power.
Practical steps have already been taken to implement the decision to discontinue customs revenues, which constitute 37 percent of the PA’s budget.
The talks involve monies collected by Israel through a customs duty imposed on Palestinian goods imported by land, air and sea, according to the Oslo Accords.
Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steints has insructed his staff not to attend a meeting scheduled Sunday with the PA’s tax official to decide to transfer NIS 300m (around USD 89m) to the PA.
The position comes as Israeli professor Saul Meshal has predicted that if elections were to be held today they would result in a landslide victory for Hamas.
The expert said that the wave of Arab revolutions paired with the decline of Fatah and Mahmoud Abbas are working in favor of Hamas that currently runs the Gaza Strip.
He said one of the main reasons why Hamas maintains respect in the Gaza Strip is that the funds it receives are not distributed among its leaders but are shared with the needy through salaries, grants, and aid.
He also factored in that security agencies in the West Bank have proven notorious for waging war against freedoms and stopping peaceful protests as well as arresting hundreds of Hamas’s men creating a situation of malice and insecurity.