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Hamdallah confirms PA returned clearance revenues to Israel

Feb. 28, 2019 11:29 A.M. (Updated: March 1, 2019 12:03 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah confirmed, on Wednesday, that the Palestinian Authority (PA) has returned the month’s clearance revenues to Israel after deducting 41.8 million shekels ($11,567,700) from them.

Hamdallah spoke with Palestine TV during the inauguration of a new courthouse in Dura City, in the southern West Bank district of Hebron, that since the Palestinian leadership has decided in its meeting on February 20th not to accept the tax revenues Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinians, it was decided to return this month’s clearance money Israel has transferred to the PA, which amounts to 41.8 million shekels.

Israel decided to deduct from the PA revenues the amount of stipends the Palestinian government pays to the families of Palestinian prisoners or killed Palestinians. The tax revenues amount to about 502,697,00 shekels ($138 million) and will likely be deducted incrementally over a 12-month period.

Israel collects funds from imports into the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, in addition to other taxes, and forwards a large sum of it to the PA, after deduction of payments for water and electricity.

Hamdallah said that paying stipends to the families of Palestinian prisoners and killed Palestinians is a national duty.

The clearance revenues usually cover 70% of the salaries for public employees, which means the PA may not be able to pay this month’s salaries to over 180,000 employees in both the West Bank and Gaza.

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