Saturday, May 23
Latest News
  1. Official: Turkey arrests French citizen bound for Syria
  2. Priest 'kidnapped in Homs' region of Syria
  3. Saudi-led coalition pounds Yemen rebels in three cities
  4. Over 55,000 have fled IS-captured Ramadi since mid-May
  5. President: death toll in anti-FARC air strike in Colombia rises to 26
  6. Dutch cabinet backs partial Islamic burqa ban
  7. Iran: Nuclear talks to resume Tuesday in Vienna
  8. UK's Cameron says 'confident' of securing EU reform deal
  9. Huge blasts outside Sanaa after coalition air raids
  10. Monitor: Rebels seize hospital holding 150 Syrian soldiers
  11. Blast hits Shiite mosque in eastern Saudi
  12. US envoy urges Myanmar Rohingya 'citizenship' to end exodus
  13. UN: 300-400 new cholera cases per day among Burundians in Tanzania
  14. Iraq's Sunni tribes feel deserted after Ramadi fall
  15. London cabbie bombmaker 'murdered US soldier in Iraq'
  16. US blacklists Iraqi firm helping Iran buy Airbus planes
  17. Raids hit Yemen rebels, allies ahead of new talks bid
  18. Polls open for Irish referendum on gay marriage
  19. Official: Myanmar navy carries out first rescue of migrant boat
  20. UK PM predicts 'ups and downs' in EU renegotiation bid

Fayyad: PA close to breakdown after tax block

Nov. 24, 2011 6:39 A.M. (Updated: Nov. 29, 2011 12:58 A.M.)
OSLO (Reuters) -- The Palestinian Authority is "fast approaching the point of being completely incapacitated" by Israel's refusal to hand over tax revenues belonging to the authority, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said Thursday.

Israel's freeze on the taxes and fees it collects for the Palestinian Authority at borders has deprived the government of two-thirds of its normal revenue since Nov. 1, making it hard to pay salaries and fix infrastructure, Fayyad said.

"This is our money," he said. "It has nothing to do with donor assistance or anything like that."

He spoke at a press conference alongside Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere, who demanded an end to the policy that Israel imposed a day after the UN cultural agency UNESCO granted full membership to the Palestinians.

"It amounts to waterboarding an economy," Stoere said, "because you almost kill it while allowing a small amount of air to come in."

Israel has called the withholding of funds "temporary" and complained the Palestinians were unwilling to open direct peace talks, while Palestinian leaders have said they would talk only if Israel halts settlement activity in areas it occupies.

Fayyad said the frozen funds amount to some $100 million per month, or two-thirds of the Palestinian Authority's revenue stream excluding international aid.

He spoke shortly after President Mahmoud Abbas met in Cairo with exiled Hamas leader Khalid Mashaal to push implementation of a reconciliation deal between their parties.

Fayyad reiterated that he was willing to step down if it would help heal divisions between the rival factions and pave the way for presidential and parliamentary elections. Hamas has rejected him as head of a joint government.
Powered By: HTD Technologies
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015