Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich
Finance Minister Bezalel SmotrichNoam Revkin Fenton/Flash90

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich (Religious Zionism), a member of Israel's Diplomatic-Security Cabinet, on Friday responded to the US demand that Israel transfer money to the Palestinian Authority while the war with Hamas is ongoing.

"We have a lot of respect to the US, who is our best ally in the world, and to President Biden, who is a true friend of Israel, but we will never abandon our fate to others, and so long as I am Finance Minister, not a single shekel will be passed to the Nazis in Gaza," Smotrich said.

"This is not an extremist position. This is a position which desires life, and which is required by the situation."

On Thursday, Barak Ravid of Axios reported that US President Joe Biden held a difficult conversation last weekend with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over Israel's decision to withhold part of the tax revenue it collects for the Palestinian Authority.

According to the report, a US official told Ravid that this part of last Saturday's call between the two leaders was one of the most difficult and "frustrating" conversations Biden has had with Netanyahu since the beginning of the war in Gaza.

Israel’s Political-Security Cabinet decided last month to offset money intended for the Gaza Strip from the tax money it collects on behalf of the PA, in addition to the offset that is carried out, in accordance with the law, of funds paid to terrorists and their families.

However, the decision states that after the offset, Israel will transfer the tax money to the Palestinian Authority during the war.

The PA was livid at Israel for offsetting the funds intended for Gaza and, as a result, announced it would refuse to accept a partial transfer of the funds.

In recent weeks the Biden administration has been pressing the Israeli government to release the PA tax revenues it is withholding, according to Axios.

The Biden administration has expressed concerns that an economic collapse of the PA could lead to a violent escalation in Judea and Samaria as a result of it not being able to pay its security forces their salaries.