UN alarmed by Israel's move to stop tax revenue transfers to Palestine
Israel froze the monthly transfer of $120 million in taxes that it collects for the Palestinians, forcing the Palestinian Authority to halt salary payments for 153,000 employees. (AFP/Getty Images)
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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is alarmed that the Israelis and Palestinians are engaged in a downward spiral of actions and counter actions and calls on both sides not to exacerbate existing divisions, a senior U.N. official told Reuters on Thursday.
"We call on Israel to immediately resume the transfer of tax revenues," UN deputy political affairs chief Jens Anders Toyberg-Frandzen told the U.N. Security Council. "The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is now entering unchartered territory, which, lamentably, seems to have dashed any immediate hope for a return to peace talks."
The revenues are being withheld by Israel as retaliation for Palestine's attempt to join the International Criminal Court.
On Wednesday Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with Arab foreign ministers to discuss the possibility of the Arab Leauge covering $100 million a month for tax revenues, reports the Associated Press.
- The usual collective punishment approach: Israel withholds tax revenues from Palestinians, in move described as 'privacy'
- Israeli tax transfers to Palestinians down in 2000
- Palestinian Authority rejects partial transfer of tax funds
- Peace talks exacerbating internal differences in Israeli gov't
- Israel withholds Palestinian tax revenues, threatens war crimes suits