Israeli witholding Palestinian tax funds over outstanding debts
Some 70-100 million shekels worth of fund owed to the to the Palestinian Authority is reportedly being withheld by the Israeli government, which is demanding the Palestinians first pay outstanding debts to the Israeli companies, including the Israel Electric Corporation and the Bezeq telecom.
According to the economic agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Israel collects a variety of taxes and duties on the Palestinians behalf, and is obliged to transfer the funds on a regular basis. However, since the start of the Palestinian uprising in September, there has been growing pressure in the Israeli business community to link what the Israelis describe as non-payment of accounts to the transfer of the tax money. Last month, Oded Tira, the president of the Israel Manufacturers Association, and Danny Gillerman, the president of the Federation of Israeli Chamber so Commerce, wrote an open letter to the government asking that outstanding debts be deducted from the government-to-government transfers.
As reported in Globes, Israel’s minister of finance Avraham Shochat, has also sent a letter to Maher Al Masri, Palestinian minister of economy and trade, condemning the Palestinian residents’ boycott of Israeli products.
Shochat said that he had been informed that in the last few days senior Palestinian officials were enforcing the boycott of Israeli goods. He also denounced an incident in Ramallah in which Palestinians allegedly set fire to Israeli products. – (Albawaba-MEBG)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)