A Palestinian Hamas-hired civil servant displays U.S. Dollar banknotes after receiving her salary paid by Qatar, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip December 7, 2018..
(photo credit: IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA/REUTERS)
The UN Security Council is scheduled to meet Wednesday to discuss the Palestinian Authority’s financial difficulties following Israel’s decision to withhold tax revenue it collects for the PA because of Ramallah’s payments to terrorists and their families.
Kuwait, the Arab League’s current representative on the 15-member Security Council, initiated the meeting.
Two weeks ago, Israel decided to deduct $140 million from the tariffs it collects and transfers monthly to the PA because that is the amount of money the PA paid in 2018 to terrorists imprisoned in Israeli jails, their families, and to security prisoners who have been released.
This decision came as a result of a bill mandating the deductions that passed the Knesset in July.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas responded by saying that because of the deduction, the PA will not accept the transfer of any funds from Israel. Under the terms of the Oslo Accords, Israel transfers more than $100 million a month in tariff and tax revenue to the PA.
The Israeli deductions and Palestinian refusal to accept any of the transferred funds comes against the background of growing economic woes for Ramallah due also in part to a US decision to cut some $300 million in various forms of economic aid.
Speaking of the scheduled Security Council meeting, Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said that the PA was willing to drag its residents into an economic crisis “in order to fill the pockets of terrorists.”
“The solution to this situation will not come from discussions at the UN, but only when the PA changes its policies and stops funding salaries for terrorists and spreading incitement against the State of Israel,” he said.
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