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Israel 'yet to decide' over tax revenue transfer to PA

Jan. 3, 2013 10:56 A.M. (Updated: Jan. 4, 2013 8:46 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- The Israeli government has not yet decided whether to transfer tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority this month, the spokesman of the Israeli Prime Minister said Thursday.

Ofir Gendelman told Ma'an the government will announce its position in the coming days.

In December, the Israeli government seized Palestinian tax revenues it collects on behalf of the PA under international agreements. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman warned at the time that the monthly payments would not resume until at least April.

Gendelman said the move was a response to Palestine's admission to the UN on Nov. 29, which he called a "flagrant violation, and an obstacle for peace process."

He said the funds are being used to pay off Palestinian electricity and water debts, noting that the current balance owed by the electricity companies is 200 million shekels ($50 million).

The Palestinian Authority's financial crisis has led to a resumption of public sector strikes as the government struggles to pay its employees' salaries.

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