Saturday, Sept. 05
Latest News
  1. Between hope and despair, migrants board buses for Austria
  2. UAE, Bahrain lose 50 troops on deadliest day for Yemen coalition
  3. Austria welcomes first migrant buses from Hungary
  4. Hungarian parliament introduces emergency anti-migration laws
  5. Putin says Assad agrees to early parliamentary polls
  6. Morocco votes in test for Islamist government
  7. UAE says 22 Emirati soldiers killed in Yemen
  8. Bob Geldof offers to house four Syrian families
  9. IS blows up famed tower tombs at Syria's Palmyra
  10. Drowned Syrian boy Aylan buried as Europe wrangles over refugees
  11. EU under pressure to agree refugee quotas as ministers meet
  12. Israeli army: 5 tourists attacked by local residents in Hebron
  13. Death toll in IS Yemen mosque attack rises to 32
  14. Netanyahu defends Iran deal fight after Obama secures support
  15. Security sources: 4 Turkish police killed in PKK bombing
  16. Hungary's Orban: Migrant crisis is German, not European problem
  17. WHO: Liberia declared free of Ebola - again
  18. Official: over 230,000 refugees arrive in Greece this year
  19. Guatemalan president resigns over corruption firestorm
  20. Double suicide attack kills 30 in North Cameroon

Israel seizes PA revenues in response to UN vote

Dec. 2, 2012 12:31 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 4, 2012 9:46 A.M.)
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma'an) -- Israel's government decided to seize Palestinian Authority tax revenues in response to the UN vote to recognize Palestine as a non-member state, Israeli media reported Sunday.

Israel will use the 460 million shekels ($120 million) of November tax payments to pay PA debts to the Israeli Electric Company, the Haaretz newspaper reported.

Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz told the Sunday cabinet meeting that UN vote is a "Palestinian provocation and an attempt to advance their state without recognizing Israel," new site Ynet reported.

Yasser Abed Rabbo, a senior Palestinian official, said Israel was guilty of "piracy and theft" by refusing to hand over the funds.

The Israeli government also unveiled plans on Friday to build 3,000 new settlement units and expedite building in the so-called E-1 area of the occupied West Bank, a day after the UN vote.

Steinitz said Sunday: "It is high time that Jerusalem will be connected to (Israeli settlement) Maale Adumim. We told the US that if the Palestinians would go to the UN there would be repercussions."

The United States, one of just eight countries to vote alongside Israel against the Palestinians at the UN General Assembly, had called the latest expansion plan "counterproductive."

Israel had threatened a number of sanctions in response to the bid, including withdrawing Palestinian tax revenues, supporting more settlement building, and canceling past agreements.

Israeli media reported that US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton had urged Israel not to punish Abbas' administration for the bid, and West Bank officials were optimistic that she had been successful.

Israel has withheld the tax revenues, which it collects on the PA's behalf as a result of international agreements, several times in recent years to punish the PA leadership.

The government also held back a smaller sum, around $9 million, in September to pay the Israeli Electric Corp., which supplies West Bank cities with power.

Israeli officials say the Palestinian Authority's Jerusalem District Electricity Co. has accumulated a $200 million debt from the company in unpaid bills.

The aid-dependent Palestinian economy in the West Bank faces financial crisis due to a drop in aid from Western backers and wealthy Gulf states, as well as Israeli restrictions on trade.

Reuters contributed to this report

Powered By: HTD Technologies
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015