Ramadan surprise: Israel releases funds to Palestinians
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (L) shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
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Israel recently transferred a $44.7 million advance on tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority as a goodwill gesture, The Jerusalem Post said.
The funds were transferred prior to the start of the holy month of Ramadan to assist the PA in paying the monthly salaries of public sector employees, the Post said.
Israeli officials told the paper the transfer was not the result of a request from the U.S. administration and was made before U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to the country.
Another step taken by Israel to alleviate the financial crisis faced by Palestinians was to increase the number of Palestinian construction workers permitted in Israel, the officials said.
Once a month Israel transfers tax revenue funds to the PA but withheld the transfer in November for a short time in response to the Palestinians' acceptance as a state by the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the paper said.
The last gesture Israel made to the Palestinians was in May when it handed over the bodies of 90 terrorists. The move resulted in a meeting between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Yitzhak Molcho, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's envoy, the paper said.
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