Nabil Shaath
Nabil ShaathMiriam Alster/Flash 90

A senior Palestinian Authority official on Tuesday claimed Israel and the US are blackmailing the Palestinian leadership by imposing financial sanctions.

Nabil Shaath, adviser to PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, said in a statement quoted by the Xinhua news agency that the PA has been suffering from a financial crisis because Israel and the US have pressured donor countries, including Arab nations, to stop their funds.

Shaath claimed that Israel and the US are inciting the donor countries to stop their financial aid to the PA under the pretext that it pays them as salaries for Palestinian Arab prisoners and their families.

"It is unacceptable blackmail," Shaath said.

"Unfortunately, some Arab countries accepted to be subjected to the US pressure," he continued, expressing hope that some international countries would resist the pressure and continue to support the Palestinian issue.

Last year, the Israeli government decided to offset the tax money it collects on behalf of the PA because of the monthly financial aid it provides to families of terrorists. The decision meant it would withhold around $10 million per month from revenues of some $190 million per month it collects on the PA's behalf.

PA officials have remained defiant and have made clear that the PA will never cease paying terrorists' salaries.

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