Israel plans to withhold $43mn of Palestinian tax funds – report
The Israeli Security Cabinet has voted to withhold $43 million of tax funds from the Palestinians, saying the money has been used to promote violence, AP reported.
Israel says the ‘Martyrs’ Fund’ rewards violence, while the Palestinians say the payments are needed to help vulnerable families who have been affected by Israeli occupation.
Under past agreements, Israel collects customs and other taxes on behalf of the Palestinians and transfers the money to the Palestinian Authority. These monthly transfers, about $170 million, are a key source of funding for the budget of the authority, which administers parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
Last year, Israel passed a law deducting parts of these transfers that it said were supporting militants’ families. Sunday’s decision to withhold the funds was a continuation of that policy. PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s office has not commented on the move.