RAMALLAH, Sunday, March 03, 2019 (WAFA) – Prime Minister of the caretaker Palestinian government, Rami Hamdallah, said on Sunday that the government is determined to pay the full salaries of the Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails and the families of those killed by Israeli forces.
He said nonetheless, the government would only be able to pay a portion of the monthly salaries of the civil servants for February, in light of the financial crisis that has affected the PA as a result of Israel’s withholding of the Palestinian tax revenues.
Two weeks ago, the Israeli government withheld around $138 million in tax revenue collected on behalf of the Palestinian Authority under the Oslo agreement. The amount is equivalent to the salaries paid by the PA Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails and the families of those killed by Israeli forces.
President Mahmoud Abbas has responded to the withholding by saying that he will not accept the tax revenues if they were short by one penny.
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.