Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Fund transfer to PA to be renewed

Israel suspended transfer of tax revenue collected on behalf of PA over UNESCO gambit. Jerusalem said to be reconsidering move following Congress' decision to release Palestinians' aid funds

Israel is likely to renew its funds transfer to the Palestinian Authority following the US Congress' decision to unfreeze some $200 million in Palestinian security assistance, Jerusalem sources told Ynet on Monday.


Israel collects about $100 million in various taxes on behalf of the PA, which it transfers to Ramallah on a monthly basis. The transfer was suspended following the PA's pursuit of full membership in UNESCO.


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Defense Minister Ehud Barak has voiced his objection to the decision to halt the funds, stressing that Ramallah needed the funds in order to pay the Palestinian security forces' salaries.


Security collaboration between Israel and the Palestinian forces in the West Bank is considered successful, and Barak considers them vital in the war on West Bank-based terror groups.


The Congress suspended its aid to the Palestinian Authority in August, ahead of the latter's UN bid for membership.


Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, informed the Obama administration in recent weeks that she would no longer block $50 million in economic support funds for the Palestinian security forces and $148 million in other assistance.


A Jerusalem official told Ynet that "Israel does not wish to see the Palestinian Authority crumble… we want to see the issue resolved soon."


Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, however, supports suspending the funds, as a punitive measure against the Palestinians for their unilateral moves.


The defense establishment dislikes the notion, saying it may compromise the Palestinian security forces' ties with their Israeli counterparts.




פרסום ראשון: 11.08.11, 07:54
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