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Palestinian, Israeli officials 'to discuss tax transfers'
Published Tuesday 29/01/2013 (updated) 30/01/2013 14:01
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RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Palestinian Authority Ministry of Finance officials will meet with their Israeli counterparts on Wednesday to discuss resuming the transfer of taxes withheld by Israel since November, an official said.

Rami Mahdawi, PA finance ministry spokesman, told Ma'an Tuesday that the meeting will discuss Israel's position to resuming the transfer of Palestinian tax revenues, which have been withheld as punishment for the UN's acceptance of Palestine as a non-member state in November.

The meeting is part of monthly talks between Palestinian and Israeli officials to discuss the issue of tax transfers, Mahdawi added.

PA minister of economy Jawad al-Naji told Ma’an this week that he expects the Israeli government to stop withholding tax revenues in the near future.

Since early December, Israel has withheld around $100 million in monthly tax revenue it collects on behalf of the PA, aggravating a financial crisis.

Full salaries for public sector workers have not been paid in almost three months and government initiatives to increase revenue by collecting years worth of electricity and water bills from the public have been hampered by street protests.

Israel has previously frozen payments to the PA during times of heightened security and diplomatic tensions, provoking strong international criticism, such as when the UN cultural body UNESCO granted the Palestinians full membership a year ago.
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1 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
30/01/2013 18:45
It was wrong of us to punish the Palestinians by withholding their tax revenues in the first place. We only did it because of their U.N. upgrade to Non-member Observer Nation status. The sooner we resume their tax revenue transfers, the better. Yes, recognizing their plight, several of the other Arab donor nations who had pledged money to the State of Palestine have finally started to give but we shouldn't even be collecting Palestinian taxes in the first place.

2 ) carine / UK
01/02/2013 04:06
Yes Yehuda, let's hope they receive every single dollar that Israel owes to them, plus the interest that has accrued, but I won't hold my breath...
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