Arab ministers demand Trump rescind Jerusalem decision

A general view taken on December 9, 2017, shows a general view of the Arab League headquarters during an emergency foreign ministers meeting in the Egyptian capital Cairo, following the US president's controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. (AFP)
Updated 10 December 2017
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Arab ministers demand Trump rescind Jerusalem decision

CAIRO: Arab foreign ministers on Saturday called on the United States to rescind its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and for the international community to recognize a Palestinian state.
In a resolution after an emergency meeting in Cairo, Arab League member ministers said that the United States had “withdrawn itself as a sponsor and broker” of the Israel Palestinian peace process with its controversial move.
The ministers met at the league’s headquarters in Cairo to formulate a response to the US decision, which has been roundly criticized in the Arab world and internationally.
The move by US President Donald Trump is “denounced and condemned,” Arab League chief Ahmed Abul Gheit told the ministers at the beginning of the meeting.
The ministers agreed on “demanding that the United States rescind its decision on Jerusalem...and the calling on the international community to recognize the state of Palestine...with east Jerusalem as its capital.”
They also said they would head to the United Nations Security Council for a resolution condemning the US decision as a violation of international law.
The decision has sparked protests and clashes in Palestinian territories since Trump announced the decision on Wednesday which drew criticism from every other member of the UN Security Council at an emergency meeting on Friday.


Palestinians to cut civil servant salaries after Israeli tax freeze

Updated 59 min 4 sec ago
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Palestinians to cut civil servant salaries after Israeli tax freeze

  • Israel's security cabinet on Sunday approved the freezing of $138 million (122 million euros) over the PA's payments to the families of prisoners, or prisoners themselves, jailed for attacks on Israelis
  • Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said Wednesday he would not accept anything but full payment of the tax transfers owed by Israel

RAMALLAH: The Palestinian finance minister on Thursday announced salary cuts for civil servants, days after Israel said it would withhold tens of millions of dollars in tax transfers to the Palestinian Authority.
Israel's security cabinet on Sunday approved the freezing of $138 million (122 million euros) over the PA's payments to the families of prisoners, or prisoners themselves, jailed for attacks on Israelis.
Israel, which collects taxes on behalf of the PA, says the payments encourage further violence.
The PA claims they are a form of welfare to families who have lost their main breadwinner.
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said Wednesday he would not accept anything but full payment of the tax transfers owed by Israel.
The PA, which is already running a deficit, will "pay the salaries of civil servants in time, but they will be reduced", said PA finance minister Shukri Bishara after a meeting with EU representatives in Ramallah.
The cuts will not apply to salaries "paid to pensioners and families of martyrs, wounded or prisoners", he added, adding that wages below 2,000 shekels ($550) would also not be affected.
Many Palestinians view prisoners and those killed while carrying out attacks as heroes in their conflict with Israel. Palestinian leaders often venerate them as martyrs.
Under a 1994 agreement, Israel collects around $190 million each month in customs duties levied on goods destined for Palestinian markets that transit through Israeli ports.
The money it then transfers to the PA is the authority's most important source of revenue.
The Palestinians want EU countries to pressure the Israeli government to rescind its decision, said Mahmoud al-Aloul, deputy of Abbas's Fatah party.
Palestinian leaders will take steps to "boycott Israeli goods", he said, adding they had already prepared "a list of Israeli products that have local (Palestinian) equivalents".