RAMALLAH, Tuesday, February 19, 2019 (WAFA) – The European Union slammed Israel’s recent decision to withhold part of the Palestinian tax revenues.
Speaking to Voice of Palestine radio station, Communication Officer at the European Union (EU) Shadi Othman slammed the Israeli government’s decision to deduct $138 million from the tax revenues it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority.
The EU, Othman added, emphasized the need for Israel to respect the agreements signed with the Palestinian side and refrain from taking any unilateral action on the Palestinian tax revenues, which should be transferred in full to the Palestinian Authority.
Commenting on the EU’s follow-up this Israeli decision, Othman noted that the EU has maintained contact with its member states, urging them to put pressure on Israel, so that it refrains from implementing its decision.
He also emphasized the EU’s ongoing support to the Palestinian Authority’s budget and made reference to the EU’s recent decision to increase support by over 70 percent to the UN organization responsible for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) following the US administration’s decision to halt funding to the UN agency.
Under the interim Paris Economic Protocol of 1994, Israel collects customs duties on goods imported by Palestinians and destined to the occupied Palestinian territories (West Bank and Gaza) that go through Israeli ports since the Palestinian borders are all under Israeli control.
Israel has occasionally withheld Palestinian money as a measure of punishment.