“Israel” freezes 500 million shekels of PA tax revenue

The Israeli cabinet decided on Sunday to freeze 500 million shekels (almost 138 million dollars) due to be delivered to the Palestinian Authority.

The decision comes as an application of the law passed by the Israeli parliament in July 2018 to deduct payments transferred to Palestinians prisoners and their families from the Palestinian Authority tax revenue controlled by the Israeli occupation.

For several times since the Oslo accords 25 years ago, the Israeli occupation has frozen tax transfers to the PA, which is a blatant violation of “Israel’s” obligations under the accords, according to Al Mezan human rights group.

Under that protocol Israel collects taxes on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, giving the military occupier “sole control over the external borders and collection of import taxes and VAT,” as described by the human rights group B’Tselem.

“Israel” not only violates international law; by freezing PA tax money, it is collectively punishing the Palestinians in Gaza Strip.

The decision will further deteriorate the catastrophic situation in the besieged enclave. Thousands of employees in Gaza have been exposed to severe salary cuts and late payments by the PA in the West Bank. The freezing of tax fund transfers will be a “dangerous contribution to the deterioration of humanitarian and economic conditions,” according to Al Mezan.

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