Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Israel Freezes Palestinian Tax Payments as Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat hinted the move might dissolve the Palestinian Authority

Israel Freezes Palestinian Tax Payments
Move Follows Decision to Join International Criminal Court
Israel froze the transfer of about $127 million in Palestinian taxes as a sanction against the Palestinian government following its decision this week to join the International Criminal Court, raising the threat of war-crime suits against Israeli officials.
The move strains the cash flow of a government that suffers from chronic financing problems, potentially sowing unrest within the Palestinian territories by halting funds used to pay monthly salaries of public servants.
What's that saying again  ... about being Judged by 
the Company company you keep?
The decision was first reported on Saturday by Israel’s Haaretz newspaper, which quoted a senior Israeli official who said that some 500 million shekels ($127.1 million) in tax revenue collected in December by Israel on behalf of the Palestinian Authority hadn’t been transferred as scheduled on Friday.
“It was decided to halt the transfer as part of the response to the Palestinian move,’’ Haaretz quoted the official as saying. An Israeli official who asked to remain anonymous confirmed the accuracy of the Haaretz report. The newspaper also reported that Israel is considering initiating international legal actions against the Palestinians as another retaliation to the ICC move.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

Erekat hints at dissolution of Palestinian Authority after Israel withholds tax funds
Abbas says Palestinians will resume their statehood bid at the United Nations Security Council “despite pressure we are facing.”
Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat hinted on Sunday that the Palestinians might dissolve the Palestinian Authority and call on Israel to fully assume its responsibilities over the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
In an interview with YNET, Erekat said that the Palestinian leadership would meet soon to discuss calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “to come and assume his responsibilities on the occupied Palestinian territories.”
Referring to the Israeli decision to withhold tax funds belonging to the Palestinian Authority, Erekat said: “Netanyahu is destroying the Palestinian Authority. What authority did he leave? The Israeli people don’t see us anymore and that’s the problem.”
Erekat claimed that the Israeli government has cancelled the PA’s political, legal, economic, security and territorial jurisdiction over Palestinian territories.
Read the rest of the story HERE. There is a link to a related story below:

US weighs cutting aid to Palestinians over war crimes move

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