P.A. employees get partial salaries after Israel fails to transfer withheld tax money

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Palestinian Authority public employees will receive 60 percent of their last month’s salaries after Israel did not transfer withheld tax revenue it collects on behalf of the PA.

The announcement of the partial wages was announced Wednesday by PA Minister of Finance Shokri Bishara, the WAFA Palestinian news and information agency reported.

Israel began withholding the collected tax revenues in January after P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas signed requests to join the ICC and other international conventions at the end of December as a result of the failure of the United Nations Security Council to pass a Palestinian statehood proposal.

Last week Israel announced that it would send the hundreds of millions of dollars in tax payments to the P.A., but has not yet done so reportedly following a dispute over how much the P.A. owes Israel from the collected money for utilities such as electricity and water, as well as hospital bills.

The Palestinian Authority cabinet on Tuesday called Israel’s policy of withholding tax revenues and then deducting money from it “a premeditated crime, a collective punishment against Palestinians, and a blatant violation of previously agreed upon agreements and international resolutions,” according to WAFA.