Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtaye speaks during a joint press conference with Libya's interim prime minister in the Libyan capital Tripoli on Feb 14, 2022. (MAHMUD TURKIA / AFP)
RAMALLAH – Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtaye said Monday that Israel's decision to withhold 600 million shekels ($176 million) in tax revenues it has collected for the Palestinian Authority (PA) complicates the latter's financial crisis.
During the past few months, the PA had difficulty in paying salaries to 134,000 public servants in the West Bank and Gaza Strip due to Israeli deduction of tax revenues and lack of foreign aid
"The unjust and illegal Israeli decision is a piracy and adds another dimension to our financial crises," Ishtaye said during the weekly meeting of the PA cabinet held in the West Bank city of Ramallah, adding that "it will not discourage the Palestinian leadership from its commitments to the families of the prisoners."
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Israel said Sunday that the deduction of Palestinian tax revenues was to offset the latter's compensation for "attackers" against Israelis.
During the past few months, the PA had difficulty in paying salaries to 134,000 public servants in the West Bank and Gaza Strip due to Israeli deduction of tax revenues and lack of foreign aid. It has only paid 70 percent to 80 percent of the salaries due to its financial crisis.
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According to the 1993 Oslo peace agreements, Israel collects taxes and transfers them to the PA treasury.