Palestine turns down tax refunds from Israel due to abolition of bilateral agreements

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RAMALLAH, July 27 (Xinhua) — Palestine on Monday said it had turned down money transferred by Israel, despite its critical financial crisis.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtaye said it refused to accept the tax revenues from Israel, in line with the leadership’s decision to cut off all forms of coordination.

Ishtaye told reporters that his government refused to accept the tax revenues Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, which make up more than 60 percent of the general Palestinian revenues, at the weekly cabinet meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

“We continue with a total suspension of all ties with Israel, and we will not allow it to blackmail us. Therefore, we will not receive the clearance funds from this month,” he said.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has suspended all ties with Israel since May 19 after the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he is planning to annex a large part of the West Bank, which is considered a violation of signed agreements and international laws and resolutions.

Palestine stopped receiving around 200 million U.S. dollars of tax revenues Israel collects on its behalf.

The Palestinian Prime Minister called on the public servant to be patient in facing the current financial crisis as they receive only half of the salaries for two consecutive months.

Israel collects taxes on behalf of the Palestinians from trade that comes into the Palestinian territories through Israeli controlled border crossings, under a bilateral economic agreement signed in the 1990s. Enditem

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