Israel has decided to withhold 600 million shekels ($176 million) in tax revenues it has collected for the Palestinian Authority to offset the latter’s compensation for “attackers” against the Jewish state.
The Israeli security cabinet voted to deduct in phases the same amount from the tax revenues as the Palestinian Authority has paid to the families of killed or wounded attackers, Xinhua news agency quoted the state-owned Kan TV as saying.
Israel sees the stipends as “indirect support of terrorism” and charges they “encourage” Palestinians’ attacks against Israelis.
However, Palestinians say the stipends are welfare payments for families in need, the report adds.
Israel collects a large proportion of tax revenues on behalf of the Palestinian Authority and transfers them to the latter on a regular basis.
In July 2018, the Israeli Parliament passed a law to deduct from tax revenues an amount equal to what the Palestinian Authority pays to families of prisoners.
The move is expected to increase tensions between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Israel seized the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in a 1967 war, and has since controlled or blockaded the two regions despite international criticism.