PA: We'll continue to refuse tax revenues from Israel

PA cabinet leader stresses the PA will refuse to accept tax revenues from Israel despite its financial crisis.

Elad Benari ,

Mohammed Shtayyeh
Mohammed Shtayyeh
Flash 90

Palestinian Authority (PA) cabinet leader Mohammad Shtayyeh said on Monday that despite a financial crisis and inability to pay full salary to its employees, the PA would still refuse to accept the tax revenues from Israel through coordination.

Shtayyeh said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting held in Ramallah that his government still refuses to accept the tax revenues that make up more than 60 percent of the general PA revenues.

“We are continuing with a total halt to ties with the occupation, and we will not allow it to blackmail us, and therefore we will not receive the clearance funds from this month,” he said, according to the WAFA news agency.

The PA suspended all ties with Israel on May 19 in response to Israel’s plans to apply sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria.

In wake of that announcement, the PA stopped receiving around $200 million of tax revenues Israel collects on its behalf on goods and services destined to the PA. Israel insists on delivering the money only through coordination, a step strongly rejected by the PA, which describes it as a “blackmail” attempt.

Shtayyeh called on PA public employees, who number more than 180,000, and who were promised only half salary for the second month in a row, to be patient and steadfast in facing this financial crisis.

"I am confident that with your patience and steadfastness we will be able to overcome this deviation and defeat this colonial settlement project related to annexation,” he said.

PA leaders have expressed outrage over the coalition agreement between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz, which stipulates that the government could have applied sovereignty over Judea and Samaria on July 1.

Despite cutting ties with Israel over the move, PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly claimed that he is willing to resume talks with Israel if it abandons the sovereignty plan.

Shtayyeh recently hinted at the possibility that the PLO would cancel its recognition of Israel if it decides, as he put it, to “destroy the possibility of establishing an independent Palestinian state within the June 4, 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

Despite Shtayyeh’s threats, the PA has never accepted the legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish State, and the PLO charter continues to reject the existence of the State of Israel despite the provision of such recognition in the Oslo Accords.