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Israel approves major deduction from PA tax money

Feb. 18, 2019 11:08 A.M. (Updated: Feb. 19, 2019 2:30 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israel's security cabinet approved a million dollar cut on tax revenues transferred to the Palestinian Authority (PA), on Sunday, which is the amount the PA pays as stipends to the families of Palestinians killed or imprisoned by Israel be deducted from the money Israel hands over to the PA.

The tax revenue cut amounts to 502,697,00 shekels ($138 million) will likely be deducted incrementally over a 12-month period.

The deduction is deemed to be relative to the said amount that the PA allocates for stipends paid to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli custody as well as the families of the prisoners.

Approving the law has faced opposition from the security establishment, who worry that the move could destabilize the situation in the occupied West Bank.

According to analysts, the approved law may also lead to a further deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Gaza, should Palestinian Preisdent Mahmoud Abbas also cut funds to the Strip.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who seeks to be reelected in April’s legislative elections, has reportedly come under increasing pressure to penalize the PA after a 29-year-old Palestinian “brutally” killed a 19-year-old Israeli settler near the central West Bank district of Jerusalem.

Israel collects funds from imports into the West Bank and Gaza, in addition to other taxes, and forwards a large sum of it to the PA, after deduction of payments for water and electricity.
The large sum makes up the largest part of the Palestinian government's budget.

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