Israel under U.S. pressure to release Palestinian money

10:52, May 16, 2011      

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The United States puts pressure on Israel to release Palestinian tax revenues, sources said Sunday.

The U.S. Consul General in Jerusalem, Daniel Rubinstein, met Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad earlier this week and told him about the U.S. pressures on Israel to resume transferring the money to the Palestinian National Authority, the sources told Xinhua.

According to the sources, Israel may transfer the cash, which it collects every month in tax on behalf of the PNA, within the coming two days.

The Israeli decision to halt the transfer of nearly 100 million U.S. dollars to the PNA prevented it from paying April salaries for Palestinian employees.

Israel suspended the money transfer earlier this month after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party, holding sway in the West Bank, agreed to reconcile with Hamas, the Islamic militant group that controls Gaza.

Ghassan Al-Khatib, spokesman for Fayyad's government, said the Palestinians were not officially informed about imminent resumption of cash transfer.

Israel Radio, meanwhile, reported that German Chancellor Angela Merkel phoned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and demanded him that Israel release the Palestinian money.

Source: Xinhua
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