Ban to PM: Resume transfer of funds to PA

UN secretary-general asks Netanyahu to unfreeze tax revenues to Palestinians, concerned about settlement construction.

November 23, 2011 03:49
1 minute read.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon 311. (photo credit: REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny)

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asked Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday to resume the transfer of tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority, according to a UN spokesperson.

The security cabinet decided last week to continue to freeze the transfer of tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority. Israel first suspended the transfer of funds earlier this month to protest the continued Palestinian pursuit of unilateral statehood at the UN.

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In a telephone conversation with the prime minister, Ban also expressed concern about Israel's plans for construction in the settlements, while praising the country's "approval of new UN construction projects worth US$ 5.5 million in Gaza."

The secretary-general emphasized the importance of creating "an environment conducive for the resumption of direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians."

In a series of retaliatory moves against the Palestinian Authority earlier this month, Israel decided to accelerate Jewish construction over the pre-1967 lines and temporarily suspend the transfer of tax funds to the PA.

It issued the punitive steps just one day after the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) accepted the Palestinian Authority’s bid to become its 195th member. The PA also plans to request membership in other UN agencies.

Tovah Lazaroff, Lahav Harkov and Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.

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