JERUSALEM, June 11, 2018 (WAFA) – The Israeli parliament’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee unanimously approved on Monday a proposal put forward by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week to deduct from the Palestinian Authority’s custom revenues the compensation payments for damages resulting from the fires in the fields bordering the Gaza Strip caused by kites with flammable material flown from Gaza, according to media reports.
Israel collects customs on behalf of the land-locked Palestinian Authority (PA) on goods imported through its ports and destined to the Palestinian areas. It is required by the Oslo agreement to transfer this money, which amounts to more than $100 million a month, to the Palestinian Authority. However, it often gives itself the liberty to deduct from it whatever it deems as debt by Palestinians to Israelis.
The Israeli parliament earlier approved a bill that also allows the government to deduct welfare money the PA pays to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails and families of Palestinians killed by Israel, a step Palestinian officials have strongly condemned as “outright theft” and “piracy” of Palestinian money.