Palestinian Authority (PA) cabinet leader Mohammad Shtayyeh said on Monday that the PA will ask donor countries meeting in Norway on Tuesday to pressure Israel to stop deducting money from tax revenues it collects on behalf of the PA, reports Khaled Abu Toameh of JPost.
Shtayyeh’s announcement came on the eve of a meeting in Norway of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee of donor countries to the PA.
“Tomorrow I will begin a visit to Norway, where I will participate in a meeting of the donor countries and hold meetings with the Norwegian government,” he was quoted as having said.
“The timing of the visit is extremely important because it comes at a time when we are witnessing a difficult economic situation. We will ask the friendly countries to pressure Israel to halt the deduction of the Palestinian tax revenues, and to increase their financial aid so that we would be able to meet our obligations,” added Shtayyeh.
He was referring to the decision of the Israeli Cabinet to freeze the funds transferred by the Palestinian Authority to terrorists and their families by deducting the amount the PA pays terrorists and their families from the taxes and tariffs collected for the PA by Israel.
The PA was outraged by the decision, describing it as "racist behavior" and "a policy of robbery of some of the state's funds estimated at millions of shekels."
PA officials have remained defiant about the issue of payments to terrorists and have made clear that the PA will never cease paying terrorists' salaries.
PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas has in the past called the PA's continued payments to terrorists a "red line" that would not be halted under any circumstances.