Top Palestinian official slams Israeli sanctions as "piracy"
The Palestinian negotiator in Mideast peace talks called Israel's decision to stop tax money transfers "piracy."
Saeb Erekat said that "the Israeli decision to withhold these funds is piracy... It cannot be maintained," The Associated Press news agency reported.
He also said talks persist, though "gaps remain big."
Erekat spoke a day after an Israeli official said Israel would stop the tax money transfers in retaliation for the Palestinians pushing to sign up for more recognition from international agencies and treaties.
That comes after Israel failed to release Palestinian prisoners as promised and moved forward with more settlements in land Palestinians want for their future capital.
Israel collects about $100 million a month in taxes for the Palestinians. U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki called the Israeli move "unfortunate" on Friday.
The Palestinian-Israeli negotiations have faltered after being conditionally extended under a US mediation in July 2013.
The nine months term set for the talks to compromise a comprehensive peace deal are about to end with Israel stubbornly setting new conditions in front of the Palestinian negotiators to establish a Palestinian state.
The occupation now demands for a recognition of a Jewish state, a sovereignity over the Jordan Valley and undivided capital of Jerusalem, while going on with the colonial settlement construction in the West Bank.
Hamas Movement and Islamic Jihad have long been in opposition to 'peace talks' cherishing the 'resistance approach' to deal with the Israeli policies in the occupied territories.
While left parties, including in the forefront the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), is calling on Abbas to quit the 'futile peace talks'.