Riyad al-Maliki
Riyad al-MalikiReuters

Palestinian Authority (PA) “foreign minister” Riyad al-Maliki claimed on Monday that the United States is exerting pressures on Arab states to stop their financial aid to the PA, the Xinhua news agency reports.

Al-Maliki was quoted as having told Voice of Palestine radio that the PA is looking into ways to legally pursue the cases against the US "illegal steps to impose a financial blockade on the Palestinian people."

The PA is seeking alternative financial sources in order to "respond to the US government's punitive measures," he added.

The comments come amid continuing tensions between the PA and the US. The PA has rejected the US peace plan being formulated by the Trump administration before it has even been unveiled and has been boycotting the US ever since Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December of 2017.

Al-Maliki also said on Monday that the PA is considering resorting to the UN General Assembly and international legal organizations against Israel's intention to deduct money allocated to families of Palestinian Arab terrorist prisoners from the PA's tax revenues collected by Israeli authorities.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced on Sunday said that the government would approve next week the law to deduct the PA's financial allocations out of its tax revenues.

According to Palestinian Authority figures, the monthly allowance per prisoner is higher than that of an active member of the PA security forces. The PA budget for payments to terrorists in Israeli prisons skyrocketed to $158 million in 2017.

Despite repeated calls from both Israel and the United States to stop the practice of paying terrorists, PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas has continuously stressed that “families of the martyrs will continue to receive their allowances in full."