The cabinet on Monday decided not to renew the transfer of tax revenues
to the Palestinian Authority, which were frozen two weeks ago in
response to the Palestinian acceptance into UNESCO.
The vote to
continue the freeze narrowly passed, according to a government official.
The funds, which are collected by Israel on imports on behalf of the
PA, amount to about $100 million each month.
move comes as representatives of the Quartet are in Israel for meetings
with both Israeli and Palestinian government officials in an effort to
restart peace talks between the sides.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's envoy Yitzhak Molcho was meeting with Quartet representatives in Jerusalem.RELATED:
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Steinitz threatens to stop PA tax transfers over UN bid
Israel has used the transfer of taxes to the PA as a punitive measure in
the past, causing financial crises in the Palestinian Authority. The
defense establishment has been particularly opposed to the halting of PA
funding because it partially pays the salaries of Palestinian security
forces, who it says help maintain calm in the West Bank.
In addition to stopping the tax transfers, Israel also authorized the
construction of 1,650 homes in east Jerusalem Jewish neighborhoods and
327 homes in two West Bank settlements in response to the Palestinian
That move drew international condemnation.Reuters contributed to this report