Israel allows tax handover to P.A.


Israel decided to hand over some $350 million in withheld tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s Cabinet voted on the transfer Sunday, with the provision that the funds reach the emergency government of Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank and not the new Hamas administration in the Gaza Strip.

Abbas had sought access to some $700 million in tax revenues that Israel has withheld since Hamas rose to power last year, but Olmert aides said the sum to be handed over would likely be around $350 million.

Israel also will resume the monthly transfers of $50 million in taxes collected on behalf of the Palestinian Authority at the commercial border crossings of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

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