- The Media Line - https://themedialine.org -

Netanyahu Apparently Ready to Transfer Palestinian Funds; Fayyad Warns of “Fiscal Incapacitation”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears ready to bend to intense international pressure and release tax revenue collected for the Palestinian Authority that has be withheld as the Israeli response to the Palestinians accepting full membership in UNESCO, the United Nations cultural organization. Under terms of the Paris Protocol of 1994, Israel collects certain taxes and customs revenue on behalf of the Palestinian Authority and transfers the money monthly. At issue is at least $100 million from November, a significant portion of the PA budget. On Sunday, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad told The Media Line in an exclusive interview that, “We really are on the verge of being completely incapacitated by this measure by the government of Israel. I can tell you with absolute certainty that the Palestinian Authority has never faced a financial situation that is more difficult than the one it is facing now.” A number of Israeli officials agree with Western governments including the EU and US that it would be counterproductive to bankrupt the Palestinian Authority, with special emphasis on the ability of Fayyad’s security forces to maintain order. Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is strongly against transferring any funds at all.