PA urges EU to impose pressure on Israel over tax deduction

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-28 18:19:51|Editor: ZX
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RAMALLAH, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority (PA) caretaker government Rami Hamdallah Thursday urged the EU to impose pressure on Israel to stop tax revenue deduction and return the full amount.

"It is not a financial issue, but a political issue; our money are our rights and Israel is collecting it on our behalf," he said in a statement issued by his office after meeting with EU Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process Susanna Terstal.

Hamdallah also urged the EU to recognize the Palestinian statehood, the statement said.

It is important that the EU recognizes the Palestinian state to push the peace process forward, as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas demanded in the recent LAS-EU Summit held in Egypt, the statement said.

Hamdallah praised the EU support to Palestine, "although many countries are reducing or stopping their support to Palestine, the EU support is growing political and financially."

The PA government announced on Wednesday that it has returned the tax revenues to Israel after the latter deducted over 12 million U.S. dollars.

According to agreements signed between Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel in 1994, Israel collects taxes from the Palestinian trade and commercial movement and pays it back to the PA treasury.

Israel recently announced that it will start implementing a new law to allow Israeli authorities to deduct millions of U.S. dollars from the Palestinian tax revenues collected on behalf of the PA.

According to the bill, a special committee will put away the deducted millions into a fund and can only approve paying it back if the PA stops its financial aid to families of prisoners and those injured or slain by the Israeli forces.

The deducted revenues are collected on goods entering through the Israeli controlled ports. The amount of customs revenues is over 120 million dollars monthly, while the deducted amount will be about 32 million dollars per month.