19 May 2019

Arab League vows $100 million a month

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In February, Tel Aviv announced that it would withhold millions from monthly tax revenues it collects for the Palestinian Authority, which is said to be compensation for the PA’s payments to prisoners jailed by Israel for violence. With the Palestinians refusing to take the reduced sum, it has brought them to the brink of an economic crisis. reports citing Al-Arabiya.

During an emergency meeting of the Arab League in Egypt, called at the behest of the Palestinians, member states have pledged to pay $100 million per month to the Palestinian Authority to offset its shortfalls due to an Israeli decision to cut the tax revenue that Tel Aviv collects for the PA.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who has stepped up diplomatic efforts to counter the anticipated peace plan by the Trump administration, called on allied states to help the Palestinians amid what he described as "Israeli intransigence”. He has insisted that a “safety net must be provided”, according to The Times of Israel.

“The Arabs need to be engaging actively at this critical time”, he said, as cited by the Israeli outlet.

Israel announced in February that it will keep $138 million per month from the tax it collects and transfers to the PA under the Oslo peace accords from 1993 and 1995, which tops $1 billion dollars a year, according to Xinhua. The Times of Israel reports, this money makes up half of the Palestinian Authority’s monthly budget. The cuts are meant to offset the Authority’s payments to Palestinians, jailed for terrorism and violence by Israel, and the families of attackers.

The PA have protested the measure and refused to receive any funds gathered by Israel until Tel Aviv pays it in full. As a result, many PA employees’ salaries were chopped in half in March. On top of that, the World Bank recently warned of an economic crisis, if an agreement is not concluded.

Abbas insisted that Israel rejected his offer to discuss the dispute together with the US.

“We have been paying salaries to the families of prisoners, martyrs, and wounded Palestinians since 1965. It is our duty to care for their families”, he said as cited by The Jerusalem Post.

Pledging millions to the Palestinians, the Arab League’s foreign ministers in a final declaration denounced any peace plan that does not respect the Palestinian people’s rights, the Turkish outlet Anadolu reports.

2019.04.22 / 15:37
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