Israel restores tax transfers to Palestinians
By The Washington Post
Published: Monday, March 25, 2013, 8:57 p.m.
JERUSALEM — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has authorized a resumption of the monthly transfer of taxes and customs duties collected by Israel for the Palestinian Authority, his spokesman said on Monday, providing badly needed relief for the cash-strapped Palestinian government in the West Bank.
The move, made days after a visit by President Obama, reverses an Israeli decision to suspend the regular tax transfers as punishment for the successful Palestinian bid in November to become a nonmember observer state at the United Nations.
During his visit, Obama urged a resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, and Israeli media said he and Secretary of State John Kerry, who held follow-up meetings with Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, pressed for confidence-building measures to help restart negotiations.
Mark Regev, a spokesman for Netanyahu, said at the end of Obama's visit that Israel was prepared to carry out confidence-building steps, provided they were also taken by the Palestinians.
The taxes and customs duties handed over by Israel, about $100 million a month, amount to two-thirds of the Palestinian Authority's domestic revenue. The authority has been struggling to pay salaries of about 150,000 employees because of disruptions in the Israeli transfers and a falloff of funds from foreign donors, particularly from Arab states.
Israel twice released Palestinian tax funds collected in December and January to avert a deepening of the fiscal crisis, but the overall suspension of the regular transfers remained in force until Netanyahu's decision was announced.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Magnitude-7.2 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
- 12 killed, 3 missing in avalanche on Mt. Everest
- Chaos prevailed on bridge as South Korean ferry listed, crewman says
- Putin’s national address to Russians raises fears of possible incursion into southeastern Ukraine
- Refusing mandate to form new government, interim Libyan PM to step down
- Former Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi to serve time helping seniors
- Afghan officials say detainment of Taliban commander thwarts peace process
- U.S. to release $450M for Iran