Israel to continue withholding PA funds


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Cabinet said it will continue to withhold the transfer of tax funds to the Palestinian Authority.

The Cabinet met Monday to discuss the suspension, which was put into place after the Palestinian’s were admitted as a full member of UNESCO, the U.N.’s scientific and cultural agency. The final vote on the matter was narrow, according to Ynet.

Israel transfers to the Palestinian Authority about $100 million in tax payments collected on the Palestinians’ behalf each month.  

The defense establishment, including Minister of Defense Ehud Barak, called for the payments to be reinstated. Israeli security services reportedly argued that withholding the funds, which go in part to pay Palestinian police officers, could hamper security arrangements in the West Bank. 

Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz reportedly was vociferous in wanting to maintain the freeze on transferring the funds.


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