News   /   Palestine

Israel’s seizure of $129mn of Palestinians’ tax revenues act of ‘piracy, theft’: Minister

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Hussein Sheikh, the head of the Palestinian Authority (PA)'s Civil Affairs Commission

The Israeli regime has committed an act of “piracy and theft” by seizing around $129 million of Palestinians’ tax revenues, says a Palestinian minister.

Hussein Sheikh, the head of the Palestinian Authority (PA)’s Civil Affairs Commission, made the comment on Sunday, a few hours after Israel's Central Court ruled the seizure of 450 million shekels (about $129 million) in tax revenue due to be paid to the Palestinian government.

The court claimed that it had ordered to withhold the money as compensation for the families of "Israeli victims" of purported operations that targeted Israeli interests, Palestine's official Wafa news agency reported.

"Such [Israeli] decisions bring us closer to decisiveness and the implementation of the decisions of the National & Central Councils," Sheikh said in a tweet, referring to previous resolutions – currently put on hold – of the National Council and the Central Council of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) on halting security coordination with the Israeli regime and suspending the agreements signed with Tel Aviv.

According to the report, the Israeli regime is already withholding millions of dollars due to the PA under the pretext that the Palestinian government makes monthly payments to the families of the Palestinian inmates in Israeli prisons and those who have lost their lives by Israeli forces.

Back in February last year, Tel Aviv invoked a law to deduce tax revenues relative to the amounts the Ramallah-based PA pays to the Palestinians languishing in Israeli jails or the families of those killed by the Israeli military.

At the time, a number of senior Palestinian officials condemned the decision, which they branded as “piracy and an illegal economic aggression.”

The stipends benefit roughly 35,000 families of the Palestinians killed and wounded by Israel. The PA says the payments are a form of welfare stipend to the families who have lost their main breadwinner. The Israeli regime calls that “terrorist salaries.”

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly defended such payments as an important function of his administration.

In a speech in June 2017, the head of the PA argued that “payments to support the families are a social responsibility to look after innocent people affected by the incarceration or killing of their loved ones.”

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku