Israel to deduct $176 million from PA's funds
Israel expects a protest from the Palestinian Authority over the move
Israel's political and security cabinet on Sunday approved the deduction of approximately $176 million from the tax money that Israel collects for the Palestinian Authority.
For several years, Israel has removed hundreds of millions in funds from the Palestinian Authority tax income in response to payments to the families of prisoners and terrorists by Ramallah.
According to a Defense Ministry report, the Palestinian Authority transferred $182.82 million in "indirect support for terrorism in 2020," the prime minister's office said.
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Israel collects $190 million each month in customs taxes on behalf of the Palestinian Authority but has withheld since February 2019 around $10 million from these taxes, corresponding to the allowances paid to the families of Palestinians imprisoned for having committed attacks in Israel.
During the debate, Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz of Meretz abstained from voting, however, according to sources familiar with the matter, he opposed the decision.
Israel expects a protest from the Palestinian Authority over the move which sparked violent protests in recent years.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Defense Minister Gantz met in Ramallah about three weeks ago.
During this meeting, Gantz asked the Palestinian Authority to extend its security activities in Area A.
This was in exchange for economic improvements for the Palestinian population.
Along with increasing the work permit quota for Palestinian laborers in Israel, there are also plans to facilitate the movement of Palestinians abroad through Ramon Airport and establish a symbolic Palestinian presence at the crossing of Allenby spanning the Jordan River.