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Israeli Right-wing Organization Demands Deducting Half a Bln Dollars from PA

Israeli Right-wing Organization Demands Deducting Half a Bln Dollars from PA

Tuesday, 18 February, 2020 - 07:45
Vehicles drive through a road in Jordan Valley, the eastern-most part of the Israeli-occupied West Bank that borders Jordan June 26, 2019. (Reuters)
Tel Aviv - Asharq Al-Awsat

An Israeli non-governmental organization that is close to the ruling Likud Party demanded the confiscation of 1.696 billion shekels (around USD500 million) from the funds collected by Israel for the Palestinian Authority.

The move is part of sanctions imposed by the right-wing government against the PA because of it has turned to international organizations to act against Israel.

Justifying its demand, the Shurat HaDin organization cited an Israeli ruling that held the PA responsible for 15 attacked during the second “intifada” uprising in 2000.

These operations were carried out by Palestinian Liberation Organization factions, the Hamas movement and Islamic Jihad.

The funds demanded for deduction by Shurat HaDin are part of taxation and customs fees collected by Israel from Palestinian laborers and traders on behalf of the PA. They are then transferred to the PA after a big commission is discounted, in line with agreements signed between the PLO and Israel.

Shurat HaDin President Nitsana Darshan-Leitner said Israel collects more than 600 million shekels for the PA in a month, equal to 7.2 billion per year. She cited Israel’s law to financially penalize the PA for paying stipends to Palestinians jailed by Israel, their families, and the families of those killed by Israeli forces.

The legislation, enacted in 2018, orders holding back part of the roughly $130 million in tax revenues that Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinians each month under interim peace agreements.

Israel claims the payments are a reward and encouragement for the prisoners’ actions against it but the Palestinians say they are welfare payments to support them and their families.

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