RAMALLAH, Monday, July 12, 2021 (WAFA) – Israel’s decision to cut millions of shekels in tax transfers to the Palestinian Authority places the latter in a difficult financial position, warned Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh on Monday.
Speaking at the outset of the cabinet’s weekly session in Ramallah, Prime Minister Shtayyeh slammed the Israeli occupation authorities’ decision to deduct 597 million shekels (some 180 million U.S. dollars) from the tax revenues they collect on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA) as an “illegal measure that violates the signed agreements and international laws” while pledging to take whatever necessary measures to address the decision.
“This issue will place us in a difficult financial position, particularly that the no donor aid was disbursed in this year,” he said.
“In order to fulfill our financial obligations towards Gaza Strip, Jerusalem and Area C, we will be obliged to take bank loans, which represents an abnormal and an unsustainable situation,” he added.
The Israeli cabinet said that the funds, equal to the stipends paid by the PA to the families of Palestinians held in Israeli prisons and those killed and injured by Israeli forces and settlers, will be deducted from the monthly payments transferred to the PA.
Shtayyeh called on countries worldwide to intervene to stop the “unfair” tax cuts while pointing that since 2019 Israel has deducted some 851 million shekels from the tax revenues collected on behalf of the PA and will deduct 51 million shekels starting from the next month of August.
Meanwhile, the Premier called on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to inspect Israeli excavations beneath Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and prevent the Israeli Antiquity Department from expanding the tunnel beneath Al-Buraq/ Western Wall as well as proceeding with the digging of other tunnels that run beneath the Umayyad Palaces and Silwan.