Israel's confiscation of $31 million of Palestinian tax receipts every month 'illegal', says PM

Israel's confiscation of $31 million of Palestinian tax receipts every month 'illegal', says PM
Palestinian premier Mohammed Shtayyeh branded Israel's subtraction of taxes as 'illegal' and demanded they are returned.
1 min read
11 August, 2021
Palestine's PM Mohammad Shtayyeh made his comments to the PA cabinet [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency/Getty]

Israel's confiscation of millions of dollars of Palestinian tax receipts was branded "illegal" by Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh on Tuesday.

Israel subtracts 100 million shekels ($31 million) from the Palestinian Authority's (PA) tax revenues every month, he told this week's cabinet meeting in Ramallah, Anadolu Agency reported.

Shtayyeh said this is money the PA desperately needs and demanded that Israel return these funds.

Israel gathers the PA's taxes on imported and exported goods and receives 3 percent of the total for doing so.

The Palestinian premier argued: "These monthly deductions leave us in a difficult financial situation and weaken our ability to address the financial needs of our people."

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Taxes form the primary revenue source for the Ramallah-based PA.

During the first six months of this year, the PA had approximately $195 million subtracted from its tax income, according to figures from the Palestinian finance ministry.

The arrangement of Israel collecting Palestinian taxes is part of the 1994 Paris Protocol.  

Israel in July decided to confiscate 597 million shekels in taxes received in 2020, alleging the same sum was given to the relatives of Palestinian militants.

This move was described as "terror and piracy" by the Palestine Liberation Organisation Prisoners' Affairs chief Qadri Abu Baker.