Israel returns frozen funds with deduction made due to debt on electricity and hospital use; Abbas calls for return of all funds, not partial
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has ordered the return of frozen tax revenues to Israel.
Israel decided to pay close to $400 million dollars after deciding to withhold around $130 million each month from December when the decision was made. Israel froze the funds following the Palestinian Authority’s signing of the Roman Statute to join the International Criminal Court.
The Palestinians were accepted to the ICC on April 1, and have continued in the process of pressing charges of war crimes against the State of Israel, citing abuses during Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014.
The returned funds had deductions due to debt the Palestinians owed Israel for us of utilities and hospitals. Israel’s electric company even cut power to Palestinian cities in February over $492 million in debt.
Abbas ordered the return of the money and stated “We are returning the money. Either they give it to us in full or we go to arbitration or to the court. We will not accept anything else.”
Reports claim that the monthly tax revenue to the Palestinian Authority make up for between 60-70% of salaries of Palestinians.