Mohammad Shtayyeh
Mohammad ShtayyehReuters

Palestinian Authority (PA) cabinet leader Mohammad Shtayyeh on Thursday called on the World Bank to intervene in Israel’s deductions from the tax revenues it collects on behalf of the PA, the Wafa news agency reported.

In February, the Israeli Cabinet decided to implement the policy of offsetting the PA’s payments to terrorists from the tax money it collects.

"Israel wants to destroy and exhaust the Palestinian economy, through the deduction of the tax money... and by trying to pull the banking institutions operating in Palestine into a legal war leading to their liquidation and closure," Shtayyeh said Thursday during a meeting in Ramallah with the World Bank Country Director for the West Bank and Gaza, Kanthan Shankar.

Shtayyeh also called on the World Bank to align its projects with the PA’s priorities, thus contributing to boosting national economy, job creation and reducing unemployment, according to Wafa.

On the other side, Shankar confirmed that the World Bank and all the institutions working under its umbrella in “Palestine” are ready to enhance coordination with the PA cabinet so that the projects implemented can meet the latter's priorities.

Immediately after Israel’s decision to offset the money paid to terrorists from the PA tax funds, the PA announced it would not take the partial sum of the funds from Israel.

PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas later reiterated that he would not accept partial payment of tax transfers owed by Israel and also stressed that he would not end the financial support for the families of terrorists imprisoned or killed by Israel.

Abbas has in the past called the PA's continued payments to terrorists a "red line" that would not be halted under any circumstances.

Likud MK Avi Dichter pointed out recently that eight percent of the PA's budget goes to paying terrorists' salaries.