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Erekat blasts Israel finance minister for seizing taxes
Published Wednesday 13/02/2013 (updated) 14/02/2013 14:25
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RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat on Thursday condemned Israel's finance minister for remarks confirming he was withholding money to punish internal Palestinian political decisions.

“These remarks reveal the real face of the Israeli occupation, which wants to give instructions to the Palestinian people. Israel doesn't want us to achieve reconciliation and Arab states must realize that,” Erekat told Voice of Palestine radio.

Yuval Steinitz said Wednesday that “Following the PA’s unilateral move in the UN General Assembly last November, the Israeli government has decided to freeze the transfer of tax money to the Palestinian Authority until further notice,” in a statement quoted by Israeli media.

Palestinian Ministry of Finance spokesman Rami Mahdawi told Ma'an that the ongoing breach "confirms that Israel is going on with its piracy on Palestinian money."

Referring to the remarks by Steinitz, he said, "These remarks clearly prove that the Palestinian government is facing a severe financial crisis rendering the government unable to pay civil servants’ salaries and to pay back debts."

Steinitz told Channel 1 TV Monday that the motives behind Israel’s decision to withhold tax money still remained. The main reasons for withholding tax money, he explained, were the PA attempts to establish partnership with Hamas, and the declarations by Palestinian leaders about their intentions to sue Israeli officials in the International Criminal Court.

If the Palestinian president abandons these paths, all options will be open for us to resume cooperation with the PA which we seek to maintain rather than destroy, added Steinitz.
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1 ) Tibi / Tubas
13/02/2013 21:09
Ugly PLO faces, pointing PLO fingers, and PLO "blasting" will
NOT affect the Israel finance minister's decision, regarding taxes,
that were part collected as part of an Oslo Agreement, the clearly
the PLO violated, with their 2012 UN Bid for unilateral statehood !!

2 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
13/02/2013 21:27
No ... it's really not that we don't want the Palestinians to achieve reconciliation ... it's that we really don't give a damn anymore but are still uselessly, wrongly, stubbornly and stupidly stuck in the aftermath of their U.N. upgrade and intentions for us at the ICC. This is just 1 more constant, so-damn-sick-and-tired-of-all-this-ongoing-crap reason why we must rid ourselves of their tax collections and transfers. I pray for the day when they use Jordanian/Palestinian dinars.

3 ) SHIRLEYs / australia
14/02/2013 00:03
the paris agreement is illegal and whoever wrote it knew this it not only controls tax es but makes palestinian goods uncompetative IT IS TIME FOR pa TO DUMP IT AND FIND OTHER MEANS TO COLLECT TAXES BETTER TO COLLECT TAXES INTERNALLY THAN GET NOTHINGAND JOIN geneva conventions AND GET RID OF WALL AND DEMND PEACE KEEPERSand all should call for sanctions on isreal settlements and isreal proper if it does not complywith int law

4 ) Ahmed / Palestine
14/02/2013 11:11
I have an insider working at the Prime Minister's Office who confirmed to me that Salam Fayyad used the money of the Palestinian people to purchase a ridiculously expensive luxury sedan for his wife. I hate the Israelis but the Palestinian Authority are all criminals and thieves too. There are tons of people living within walking distance of the PA compound in Ramallah who can't even buy loaves of bread. Erakat is just upset that the Israelis beat him to the bank.

5 ) Rami / Palestine
17/02/2013 14:34
#2 - If you "didn't give a damn" then you wouldn't be doing everything you could possibly do to prevent it from happening like say....sweeping across the West Bank to arrest democratically elected members of the Hamas political party whom are also members of the PLO and the Palestinian Legislative Council.

6 ) Outlier / USA
21/02/2013 04:18
I say again (since my first comment was spiked), provocative acts often have consequences. The choices are two; either skip the provocation or handle the consequences.
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