Israel has confirmed that it will renew the transfer of tax payments collected on Palestinians behalf to the Palestinian Authority. Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz confirmed rumours started by The Union of Civil Servants that payment due to Palestinian government workers for April, which were due them since the 5th of the month, would be paid by the end of the day on assurances from the PA. In a statement Steinitz claimed he had received assurance from the PA that no funds would be transferred to the Hamas or to terrorist activities. Palestinian government spokesman Ghassan al Ghatib, however, refused to say when wages would be paid, adding that ‘Israel promised to deliver tax revenues as soon as possible, and the government will pay salaries once revenues are transferred.”
Kadima MK Nachman Shai has criticized the move and accused the Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu of zigzagging on the issue. ‘Even before the ink dried on the finance minister’s populist declaration saying he won’t transfer tax funds to the Palestinians, it turns out that he is transferring them and with urgency, as was demanded by the international community,’ the Kadima MK said.
The tax revenue had been quarantined by Israeli authorities in response to the unity deal between Hamas and Fatah leading to the non payment of Palestinian government salaries for the month of September. International criticism from the US, France, the UK and Russia put pressure on Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to abandon the controversial policy.