Israel transfers tax revenues to PNA budget: official

08:20, May 17, 2011      

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Israel transferred the tax revenues to the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) budget to pay the delayed salaries for 120,000 servants in the West Bank and Gaza, officials said Monday.

Bassam Zakarna, head of the public employees' union of the PNA, said in a statement emailed to reporters that the salaries of the employees will be cashed from the banks in the Palestinian territories on Monday.

Since Oslo peace accords signed between Israel and the Palestinians in 1994, Israel has been collecting taxes on behalf of the PNA every month, and then paid it back.

Israel usually transfers 100 million U.S. dollars every month into the PNA budget. The PNA uses the money to pay salaries of 148, 000 security and civil employees.

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

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

Meanwhile, Israeli radio reported that Israel would transfer on Monday the tax revenues to the PNA. The radio quoted Israeli officials as saying that the decision was made after Israel made sure that the PNA is still committed to security cooperation with Israel.

The Israeli government officials, according to the radio, said that Israel would keep the right of transferring the revenues to the PNA in case Islamic Hamas movement would become part of the new Palestinian government.

Source: Xinhua
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