Israel will not transfer tax and tariff funds it collects for the Palestinians this month in response to their successful bid for upgraded UN status, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said yesterday.
“I have no intention of transferring the taxes due to the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) this month. They will be used to pay the Palestinian Authority’s debts to the Israeli electricity company,” Steinitz said.
Steinitz stressed his decision comes after “the raising of the status of Palestine at the UN.”
Steinitz’s spokeswoman told AFP that Israel normally transfers 460 million shekels ($ 120 million) per month before deductions.
Israel often freezes the transfer of the funds as a punitive measure in response to diplomatic or political developments viewed as harmful.
The freezes have contributed to an already dire financial position for the Palestinian Authority, which has frequently been unable to make payroll for its employees in the last year.