Palestinian Authority receives frozen $114 million from Israel, Norway says

Palestinian Authority receives frozen $114 million from Israel, Norway says
The funds, which were held by Israel, serve to ensure that vital services and workers are paid in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
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More funds transfers meant for the Palestinian Authority are expected in the coming days, Norway said [Getty/file photo]

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has received 407 million shekels ($114 million) with more funds on the way soon following a deal to release frozen tax funds held by Israel, the Norwegian government said on Thursday.

Norway on 18 February said it had agreed to assist in the transfer of funds earmarked for the PA that were held by Israel, providing crucial funding to the territory illegally occupied by Tel Aviv since 1967.

"This money is absolutely necessary to prevent the collapse of the Palestinian Authority, to ensure that the Palestinians receive vital services, and that teachers and health workers are paid," Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said.

More transfers were expected in "the coming days", he added without specifying the exact timing or the amount.

The PA exercises limited self-governance in the West Bank, where Israel frequently carries out attacks and other forms of violence on Palestinians and their property.

Under interim peace accords reached in the 1990s, Israel's finance ministry collects tax on behalf of the Palestinians and makes monthly transfers to the PA. But a dispute broke out over payments in the wake of Israel's deadly war in Gaza, which began on October 7 and has killed over 30,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children.

Israel collects taxes on goods being imported to the Palestinian territories via Israeli territory, taking a 3 percent commission before transferring the rest to the PA. Israel controls all the frontiers of the Palestinian territories, bar the Rafah crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.

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Under the agreed solution, Norway serves as an intermediary, holding tax revenue equal to the portion that Israel estimates would have gone to Gaza, while the PA would receive the rest, the Nordic country has said.

Oslo also received, on Monday, the share of the money that it would hold on behalf of the PA.

A statement from the Norwegian government did not say how much that share was worth.

The foreign ministry did not immediately reply to a request for comment.