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Official: Israel to transfer tax revenues to PA on Monday

Feb. 25, 2013 11:11 A.M. (Updated: Feb. 27, 2013 5:49 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israel has officially notified the Palestinian Authority that it will transfer Palestinian tax revenues on Monday, a PA official said Sunday.

Ahmad al-Hilou, director of custom taxes and VAT, told Ma'an that the funds were supposed to be transferred on Feb. 5.

Israel has withheld funds it collects on behalf of the PA since the UN voted to admit Palestine as a non-member state in November, but said it would release $100 million to the PA in January under international pressure.

Amid outrage in Palestine over the death of 30-year-old Arafat Jaradat in Israeli custody on Saturday, Israel said it would proceed with the transfer as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanded the PA calm mass protests in the West Bank.

Al-Hilou said Israel owed the PA around 425 million shekels ($114.7 million) in December tax revenue. He said Israel was expected to deduct some of the funds to pay outstanding bills to Israel's Electric Corporation which supplies power to the West Bank.

A joint Israeli-Palestinian financial committee is due to meet on Feb. 28 to discuss the transfer of January tax revenues, he added.
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