A number of Palestinian officials in the central West Bank city of Ramallah, condemned on Sunday, Israel’s seizure of the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) tax funds, considering this as theft against the Palestinian people.
Hussien Elsheikh, Minister of Civil Affairs with the PA, confirmed today that the Israeli Magistrate Court in the internationally-recognized occupied East Jerusalem, issued a verdict, allowing the Israeli government to seize a sum of 450 million Israeli shekels ($110 Million US dollars).
Elsheikh’s statement comes only weeks after Israel seized a sum of 59 million Israeli shekels.
The funds are tax revenues, collected by Israel on behalf of the PA, as the result of the agreement signed between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1993.
Recently, Israel has claimed that the withheld funds go to Palestinian families of Palestinians killed by Israel, whom Palestinians consider martyrs, and those imprisoned while resisting the occupation, are viewed as heroes fighting for freedom.
Last week, Israel sent a warning to Palestinian banks that Israel would inflict a penalty on Palestinian banks that deliver monthly salaries to these families.
Meanwhile, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation, Dr. Ahmad Majdalani, was quoted as saying “We reject such a decision and we will start moving against it, worldwide, for this violates international legitimacy resolutions and international law”.
Majdalani asserted that those deducted funds are purely Palestinian and therefore, the Palestinian leadership should undertake all possible options to restore them.
Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, has responded firmly by saying that his authority would continue paying those families. Abbas considered the Israeli seizure as piracy and in stark contravention to Palestinian values.