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Ban Tells Netanyahu: Resume Transfer of Taxes to PA

UN Secretary-General asks Prime Minister Netanyahu to resume the transfer of taxes Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 11/23/2011, 4:16 AM

Ban and Netanyahu
Ban and Netanyahu
Flash 90

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday asked Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to resume the transfer of taxes Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority.

According to a statement posted on the UN website, Ban made the request in a telephone conversation with Netanyahu and told him that transferring tax money to the PA would be in line with Israel’s legal obligations.

Israeli officials decided to halt the transfer of taxes to the PA as part of a round of sanctions against the entity, following its ascension as a 'full-member state' to UNESCO. The sanctions also included an acceleration of housing construction in Jerusalem, Gush Etzion, and Maale Adumim.

Last week, Israel's cabinet voted to maintain the freeze. Israel transfers some $100 million in tax payments to the PA every month.

In his conversation with Netanyahu, the UN Secretary-General also expressed his deep concern over Israel’s acceleration of construction, saying such moves “undermine current peace efforts and violate international law,” according to the UN statement.

The statement noted, however, that Ban welcomed Israel’s approval of $5.5 million in new UN construction projects in Gaza. He called for further measures towards lifting the closure of Gaza.