Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said on Monday that the Palestinian Authority (PA) is trying to get its tax revenue dues from Israel, without being submitted to any “Israeli blackmail.”
“The tax revenue dues are the money of the Palestinian people, and we are trying to obtain them without Israel’s blackmail,” Shtayyeh told the weekly cabinet meeting held in Ramallah.
Under an economic treaty reached in 1995, Israel collects taxes from Palestinian importers on behalf of the PA as it controls the borders and ports and it should pay the taxes back to the PA every month.
The PA had used the tax revenue dues to cover its monthly running cost, mainly paying salaries to its civil servants and security employees in the West Bank and Gaza.
However, on May 19, the PA refused to receive the money in protest to the Israeli plan of annexing parts of the West Bank.
Since then, the PA has been passing through a crucial financial crisis and has only paid around 50 percent of its employees’ monthly salaries.
According to the agreement, the tax revenue dues, which Israel collects on behalf of the PA, represent 60 percent of the total Palestinian budget, WAFA news agency reported.
“The Israeli annexation plan and the U.S. Deal of the Century will not weaken the stable and strict Palestinian position that rejects these plans and deals,” Shtayyeh said.