Home Cabinet 09/January/2023 12:50 PM

By withholding funds, Israel wants to see the Palestinian Authority collapse, says Prime Minister Shtayyeh

By withholding funds, Israel wants to see the Palestinian Authority collapse, says Prime Minister Shtayyeh
Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh at the cabinet meeting. (WAFA Images)

RAMALLAH, Monday, January 9, 2023 (WAFA) - Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said today that the Israeli measures related to new and old financial deductions from the Palestinian Authority (PA) funds aim to cause its collapse by undermining it financially and institutionally and impede its performance and provision of services to its people.

Speaking at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting held in Ramallah, Shtayyeh stressed that “acts of piracy, looting and vengeance practiced by the occupying Power will not discourage our people and our leadership from continuing in their political, diplomatic and legal struggle. We do not barter our right to self-determination and our freedom for money or privileges.”

He explained that since the beginning of 2019 and until the end of 2022, Israel deducted around $570 million from the Palestinian tax funds it claimed amounted to the allowances the PA has made for freedom fighters incarcerated in Israel and the families of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces, while deductions related to health, electricity, water and others amounted to approximately $460 million for the year 2022 alone.

He pointed out that Israel also deducts around $100 million annually as a commission for the collection of taxes on goods and services for the Palestinian Authority before transferring the funds to the PA treasury, in addition to withholding taxes collected from Palestinian travelers to Jordan across the River Jordan bridge crossing, which amounted to more than $280 million.

The Prime Minister considered these measures as “a new war against the Palestinian people, their resources and funds, and a war against the National Authority, its survival and its achievements… These cuts are illegitimate and illegal, are a unilateral measure that is not subject to scrutiny by any Palestinian or international body, and are in violation of the signed agreements.”

He stressed that the deductions decided by the Israeli occupation courts, the most recent of which was the deduction of $40 million in compensation for Israelis killed by Palestinians, “are illegal and illegitimate and we do not recognize them,” adding, “It is important to mention that there are several cases in Israeli courts against the Palestinian National Authority holding it responsible for any military action by any Palestinian against Israel, and we know that the Israeli courts are politicized, and therefore their decisions are known in advance and are always against us.”

The Prime Minister called on the Arab countries to implement the decisions of the Arab summits related to activating the financial safety net and to resume aid to the State of Palestine to enable it to face these brutal measures.

He thanked the European Union, Algeria, Japan and many other countries that continue to support the Palestinian people financially, expressing hope they will raise their aid, while calling on the international community to put pressure on the occupation government to stop piracy of Palestinian money and to return the accumulated Palestinian funds and dues that were unjustly withheld.


Related News

Read More