Palestinian Prime Minister, Mohammad Shtayyeh said today that the Israeli cabinet’s decision to deduct additional amounts from the Palestinian tax revenues amounting to 150 million shekels ($43 million), under the pretext of making payments to the families of the prisoners and those killed by Israel, “brings us back to square one of the crisis” and “demands an appropriate response from all of us.”

The Palestinian News and Info Agency (WAFA) reported that PM Shtayyeh stated at the weekly cabinet meeting in Ramallah, that the withheld money will reach 650 million shekels ($188 million), which “brings us back to square one of the crisis that we tried to overcome by wisely managing public funds.”

He added, “It is clear that Israel does not want us to stand on our feet. However, the government will remain active and efficient in managing public funds.”

The Palestinian Authority was forced to pay its employees half salary for six months this year after Israel deducted millions of dollars from its tax revenues, leading it to the brink of financial collapse. The crisis was eased only after Israel agreed to return most of the tax revenues to the Palestinians.

Photo: WAFA
Edited for IMEMC: Ali Salam

Related: Ashrawi: Withholding of Tax Revenues “Criminal Act of Collective Punishment”