Israel to Unfreeze Tax Transfers to Palestine

World | March 28, 2015, Saturday // 11:32
Bulgaria: Israel to Unfreeze Tax Transfers to Palestine Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks after Israeli President Reuven Rivlin (not pictured) tasked the prime minister with forming the next Israeli government, in a brief ceremony at the president`s residence in Jerusalem, Israel, 25 March 2015,

Israel will resume the transfer of tax revenues levied on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, which had been suspended since January.

The re-elected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu justified this move with rising humanitarian concerns, the deteriorating situation in the Middle East and the rise of extremism.

Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon, the Israel military and the Shin Bet domestic security service have all supported the move, the BBC reports.

Israel suspended the payments as a retaliatory measure against the decision of Palestine to join the International Criminal Court (ICC) and various other international treaties and covenants.

Following the accession of Palestine to the ICC, which will take effect on April 1, the Palestinians will be able to file lawsuits against Israel for alleged war crimes.

The suspension of tax revenues, which provide two-thirds of Palestine's income, forced Palestinians to cut the salaries of civil servants by 40 % and declare an emergency budget.

The governor of Palestine's central bank said that the freeze of tax transfers was resulting in rapid economic deterioration and exposed the banking system.

Meanwhile, Netanyahu clarified his position on an independent Palestinian state, saying that he is not rejecting the two-state solution outright, but was impossible at present.

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Tags: Israel, Palestine, tax, revenue, transfer, Benjamin Netanyahu, Middle East, extremism, ICC, war crimes, suspension, two-state solution, Palestinian Authority

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