Palestinian Authority rejects tax money from Israel
The Palestinian Authority (PA) will no longer accept tax revenues collected on its behalf by Israel following its decision to trim the sum over the PA’s financial support of militants’ families, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said. Israel collects taxes in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and in Gaza, and makes payments to the PA. The Israeli Finance Ministry said on Wednesday it collects about 700 million shekels (US$193 million) in Palestinian taxes and transfers around 600 million shekels of that to the Palestinian Authority after deducting payments for electricity, water, sewage, and medical treatment services. On Sunday, Israel said it would freeze about five percent of that against stipends the PA pays to families of Palestinians killed or jailed by Israel. Abbas says the PA would continue to pay out these stipends rather than accept a partial transfer of the tax revenues from Israel.