The Government: We have returned tax funds to Israel because of the partial deduction

The Palestinian government headed by Dr. Rami al-Hamdallah has restored Palestinian tax revenues to the Israeli side because he has settled part of it, Palestinian government spokesman Yousuf al-Mahmoud said on Thursday.

"The Prime Minister announced that the government has returned the clearing money collected by the Israeli government because of the deduction of part of it is the dues of families of martyrs and prisoners and the wounded."

"The leadership has refused to receive the clearing money from the Israeli side after deduction of 41 million shekels," which is worth about 11 million dollars.

He added in a statement to Palestine Television that "the leadership took a decision at its meeting on the twentieth of this month to refuse to receive the clearing if any of them were deducted."

"For the prisoners and the martyrs, this is the duty of the leadership and the president, and we certainly prepared these funds and the decision was a re-set-off and was already returned after deduction of 41 million and 800 thousand shekels, and the decision was to return the rest of the clearing money."

"The international community, especially the European Union, is pressing Israel to stop the withdrawal of Palestinian tax revenues and to return them completely," he said. "This is not a financial issue but a political issue. Our money is ours and Israel collects it on our behalf."

This came during his meeting Thursday at his office in Ramallah, European Union envoy to the Middle East peace process Susan Tristal, where he discussed with her the latest political developments and the latest developments in Palestine.

"It is necessary for the European Union to recognize the Palestinian state, to push the peace process forward, as President Mahmoud Abbas recently demanded at the Arab-European summit held in Sharm el-Sheikh," he said in a statement from his office.

He said that the Israeli occupation forces and their settlers attacked Jerusalem and Hebron, settlement expansion, Israel's efforts to destroy the two-state solution, and the establishment of a Palestinian state that continues on the 1967 borders.

He added that "the price of praise to God is the continued European support for Palestine, saying that although many countries reduce their support or stop it from Palestine, but the European support is increasing both financially and politically."

Israel accuses the Palestinian Authority of "inciting violence" by paying dues to the families of detainees in Israeli jails who are killed by Israeli forces during the execution or attempted attacks.

But the Palestinian Authority stresses that these funds are necessary to help families that have lost their breadwinner.


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