Israel seizes NIS1.5 billion in Palestinian tax money
Since the outbreak of the Al-Aklsa Intifada in October 2000, the Palestinian Authority (PA) is estimated to have lost 1.5 billion new Israeli Shekels (NIS) ($302 million) in VAT tax receipts and customs duties, withheld by the Israeli government.
Creating severe liquidity problems for the PA, the interruption of the monthly transfers of tax receipts collected by Israel is in direct breach of the Paris Accords, which state that Israel must return the money it collects on behalf of the PA within six days.
Israel has been rebuffing "heavy international pressure" to hand over the funds, which are kept in the treasury and have not been used by Israel, according to Israel’s Treasury Accountant General Nir Gilad, quoted by Haaretz.
Referring to an outstanding NIS200 million debt owed by commercial enterprises in the PA to Israeli firms, an Israeli Manufacturers' Association official suggested that the government pay the PA with the bad checks used by Palestinians to pay Israelis. However, the treasury opposed the idea of involving the state in private financial disputes between Israelis and Palestinians, the paper added. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)