Palestinian public sector workers received their salaries, on Tuesday, signaling the backing down of Israel from a threat to impose sanctions as peace talks began to collapse, last month.Written by the Alternative Information Center (AIC) 07 May 2014
Israel had said, on April 10, that it would withhold funds after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signed a series of international human rights, as the U.S.-backed peace negotiations were ending with no breakthrough, and as Israel refused to release political prisoners as previously agreed.
Palestinian officials said the payment reflected Israel’s decision to transfer more than $100 million in customs duties it collects on goods headed to Palestinian-run areas through the border crossings it controls.
The money accounts for approximately two-thirds of the Palestinian budget, and is key to keeping its public sector functioning and maintaining stability in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
Israel had said it would dock payment of over $100 million, a figure which it said the Palestinian government owed Israel in utility bills.
Speaking last week, Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah told reporters that Israel would be paying the near-usual monthly amount of 450 million shekels ($130.3 million) and only deducting 20 million shekels ($5.8 million) as part of a loan taken out by a previous Palestinian government.