Netanyahu Rejects U.S. Call To Release Palestinian Money
RAMALLAH — The Palestinian Authority cabinet on Tuesday condemned Israel’s ongoing refusal to hand over Palestinian tax revenue.
Israel froze the transfer of funds owed to the West Bank government, amounting to around $100 million a month, after the UN cultural agency UNESCO voted to admit Palestine as a member.
During a weekly meeting in Ramallah, ministers said the Israeli government aimed “to punish the Palestinian people and weaken the Palestinian Authority,” a cabinet statement said.
The cabinet urged the international community to pressure Israel to release the funds, noting that by withholding the money Israel was violating signed agreements.
“Israel’s continued halt of the transfer would influence the Palestinian Authority’s various financial commitments, and delimit its ability to continue with its development and building programs,” the statement added.
UN Middle East peace envoy Robert Serry on Monday warned the Security Council that by freezing the transfer of tax revenue, Israel undermined the PA’s state-building gains and the development of the security forces upholding law and order in the West Bank.
“Withholding this level of funding would cripple any government, let alone an authority under occupation,” Serry noted.
He added: “Israel should heed the calls of the Secretary-General and other international leaders to unfreeze transfers to the Palestinian Authority immediately in accordance with existing agreements.”