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Rivlin, US, slam Bibi on withholding taxes

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Complaints from PA, US and Rivlin (pic), who told a group of more than 30 Israeli envoys to Europe that However, said President Rivlin, the move Netanyahu decided upon over the weekend of withholding tax revenue Israel collects on behalf of the PA, will damage Israel's interests. "Freezing the transfer … neither benefits us nor them," Rivlin said, adding that keeping the PA functioning is in Israel's best interest.
by ANT KATZ | Jan 06, 2015

Rivlin told a group of more than 30 Israeli envoys to Europe in a meeting that while he objects to the Palestinian bid, the withholding of half a billion shekels (about $128 mil) in Palestinian tax revenue was damaging to Israel, according to two Israeli diplomats who attended the meeting.

The president criticised the Palestinian move, which he said was in violation of the 1993 Oslo Accords and a means for Palestinians to "thwart direct negotiations" and call the shots unilaterally, adding that Israel would respond.

Damaging to Israel’s best interests

However, said President Rivlin, the move Netanyahu decided upon over the weekend of withholding tax revenue Israel collects on behalf of the PA, will damage Israel's interests.

"Freezing the transfer of Palestinians tax funds neither benefits us nor them," Rivlin said, adding that "Palestinians use these funds to sustain themselves and keep the PA functioning. Israel's interest is a functioning PA."

State Department also critical of action

"We conveyed to the Israelis that freezing the tax revenues is an action that raises tensions," US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Monday.

"We oppose any actions that raise tensions, and we call on both sides to avoid it."

Psaki added the US Senate can withdraw or reduce its $440 mil in aid to the PA, which is dependent on Palestine's avoidance of joining the ICC.

'Blatant theft' says UN delegate Mansour

Riyad Mansour, Palestinian delegate to the United Nations, called Netanyahu's plan a "blatant theft and an act of collective punishment".

Over the weekend, Israel announced it was withholding the funds it collects on behalf of the PA for the month of December. The arrangement whereby Israel collects tax money for the PA was established in the 1993 Oslo Accords.

According to Israeli officials, Netanyahu decided on the move following a meeting held Thursday discussing Israel's course of action in response to the PA's request to join the ICC in the Hague

1 Comment

  1. 1 nat cheiman 10 Jan
    Good idea. Bring them to their senses and to their knees.
    The Palestinians have wiped their backsides on the Oslo Accord and therefore should be made to pay.

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