EU calls on PA to accept tax funds from Israel

EU says PA can accept tax funds from Israel without endorsing Israeli policy against PA's 'Pay to Slay' payments.

Gary Willig ,

European Union
European Union

The European Union called on the Palestinian Authority to continue to accept tax funds from Israel after Mahmoud Abbas announced that his government would not accept any tax funds from Israel unless it restores all funds deducted over the PA's payments to terrorists.

"We have been in touch with both parties and expressed our clear expectation that economic and fiscal agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority should continue to be fully implemented, including Israel's obligations under the Paris Protocol," the EU External Action Service stated.

"Meanwhile, we call on the Palestinian Authority to continue accepting the tax transfers on a provisional basis, which does not constitute a legal or political endorsement of Israeli deductions. A functioning Palestinian Authority that delivers health, education and security to millions of Palestinians is in the interest of both Palestinians and Israelis. We expect both parties to avoid any steps that could risk undermining stability on the ground and the viability of a future Palestinian state.

"The European Union will continue to raise its concerns regarding the nature of the Palestinian system of payments to detainees and families of so-called "martyrs". We expect genuine commitment from both sides towards a peaceful and negotiated two-state solution, including the need to oppose incitement."

On Sunday, Israel's Cabinet authorized the deduction of approximately $140 million in taxes collected on behalf of the PA, equal to the amount the PA paid to terrorists and their families in 2018.

The PA responded to the Israeli move by refusing to receive the remainder of the tax funds, approximately $174.5 million per month, and pledging to continue to pay salaries to terrorists no matter how low its available funds drop.