Kuwait: Many in UN oppose Israel action on Palestinian taxes

A man helps a wounded youth, who was shot by Israeli troops during a protest at the Gaza Strip's border with Israel, into the treatment room of Shifa hospital in Gaza City on March 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
Updated 09 March 2019

Kuwait: Many in UN oppose Israel action on Palestinian taxes

  • Israel deducts money that Palestinians transfer to the families of people killed, injured or imprisoned for attacks on Israel from their monthly tax revenue
  • Kuwait’s UN ambassador says Israel’s action was “in violation of existing bilateral agreements”

UNITED NATIONS: An “overwhelming” number of UN Security Council members oppose Israel’s decision to deduct money that Palestinians transfer to the families of people killed, injured or imprisoned for attacks on Israel from their monthly tax revenue, Kuwait’s UN ambassador said Friday.
Mansour Al-Otaibi told reporters after a closed-door council meeting that Israel’s action was “in violation of existing bilateral agreements.”
US Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt came to New York from Washington to defend close ally Israel.
He told the council that the Palestinian Authority’s decision to reject the latest tax transfer was only hurting the Palestinian people because they were rejecting the 95 percent of the tax revenue that Israel is not withholding, according to a diplomat at the meeting.
Greenblatt said it was “inappropriate” to focus on Israel, which was withholding 5 percent to 7 percent of the monthly tax revenue because of the Palestinian Authority’s “abhorrent practice” of paying that money “to terrorists and their families,” the diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity because discussions were private.
“The Palestinian Authority is refusing to accept over $150 million in revenue to protest the fact that $11 million is being withheld, only to make a political point,” the diplomat quoted Greenblatt as saying. “Does that sound like a governing authority that is concerned with the welfare of its people?“
Kuwait’s Mansour, who called for the Security Council consultations along with Indonesia’s UN Ambassador Dian Djani, said the Palestinians “have the right ... to do whatever they want with their money.”
He said UN Mideast envoy Nikolay Mladenov, who briefed the council by video, said “there is a need for mediation on this to solve it.”
Mansour said an “overwhelming” number of members on the 15-nation Security Council “think that this is a unilateral decision, it’s not acceptable, it’s a violation of the Oslo agreement and Paris protocol, and this is Palestinian money.”
Indonesia’s Djani said Israel’s suspension of international observers in Hebron coupled with the withholding tax revenue were making things “more and more difficult once again for the Palestinian people — so that’s why we are raising this issue, because we don’t want to continue to escalate an issue.”
The diplomat said Greenblatt told the council that members who disagree with Israel’s decision to withhold the customs revenues were free to discuss it with the Israeli government.
But in the meantime, the diplomat said, Greenblatt asked the Security Council to send a united message to the Palestinian Authority to stop “its irresponsible decision to reject the transfer of the remaining funds.”


UAE: 4 members of the same Chinese family infected with coronavirus ministry confirms

Updated 3 min 5 sec ago

UAE: 4 members of the same Chinese family infected with coronavirus ministry confirms

  • Patients’ health stable and under medical observation
  • General health situation not a cause for concern, ministry says

DUBAI: The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention confirmed Thursday that four members of the same Chinese family in the Gulf state have been infected with coronavirus.

The statement added that “all family members are in stable condition and the situation was contained by following the most necessary precautionary measures adopted globally when dealing with infected cases” in a circular released on social media.

The ministry assured the public about the general health situation, emphasizing that “it is not a cause for concern.”

“The first case of the coronavirus was diagnosed in Chinese citizens from Wuhan city,” said the ministry earlier said, adding that meanwhile the health condition of those infected was “stable and under medical observation.”

“The Ministry of Health and Prevention is working around the clock to immediately report any new cases.”

 

It also confirmed that, in coordination with health authorities, the UAE government had taken necessary precautions in accordance with the scientific recommendations, conditions and standards approved by the World Health Organization.

The ministry stressed that the epidemiological investigation centers in the country were working to report any cases of the virus, stressing that the health system in the country works very efficiently and that the ministry was closely following the situation in a way that guarantees the health and safety of everyone.

It is not clear when the family arrived in the UAE, or what airline or airport they came through.

Meanwhile Kuwait asked its nationals not to travel to Shanghai, according to the state news agency KUNA.

In a statement Emirates confirmed that all its passengers arriving from China, including flights from Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, were being screened by the Dubai health authorities.

“We are in close contact with all relevant UAE and Chinese regulatory authorities, and are complying with their directives and guidance. We are also closely monitoring and implementing the guidance of the World Health Organisation, which currently does not advise any restrictions on travel.

“Our crew members are highly trained and will follow standard operating procedures to manage any suspected cases on board. For more information on passenger screening, please contact the Ministry of Health.”