Arab League Slams Israeli 'Piracy' of Palestinian Tax Funds

Tuesday, 19 February, 2019 - 11:45
Cairo- Asharq Al-Awsat

The Arab League has decried as "piracy" an Israeli decision to freeze millions of dollars in tax fees it collected on behalf of Palestine.

"This decision is a continuation of the Israeli piracy and theft of the Palestinian people's funds and resources," the Cairo-based league said in a statement released on Monday.

The body of Arab nations has called on United Nations agencies to "face this new Israeli aggression," describing the freeze as "a clear violation and flagrant breach of international commitments."

The Israeli government on Sunday announced it was deducting NIS 502 million ($138 million) from the funds that would normally be channeled to the Palestinian Authority.

Israel says it is imposing the ban in protest at the authority paying money to families of Palestinians that have carried out attacks on Israelis.

The Palestinians argue it is not Israel's money, it collects the taxes on Palestinian imports and exports on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, headed by Mahmoud Abbas.

Israel collects around $175 million every month in taxes on Palestinian imports and exports on behalf the PA.

Tax revenue represents the PA's main source of income.

The PA says the payments are a form of welfare to the families who have lost their main breadwinner.

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