(February 21, 2019 / JNS) Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas has rejected tax revenues collected by Israel following the Jewish state’s decision on Sunday to reduce 5 percent of what it gives to the P.A. due to the latter’s support for paying terrorists and their families.
Israel’s finance ministry announced on Wednesday that it collects around $193 million in Palestinian tax revenues and sends around $165.8 million of that to the P.A. after deducting payments for medical treatment services, sewage, water and electricity.
“We reject the tax; we don’t want it,” Abbas told visiting members of the U.S. Congress. “Frankly, if we are left with only 20 or 30 million shekels, which is the sum paid to families of martyrs, then we will pay them to the families of martyrs.”
The United States passed and enacted the Taylor Force Act last year that drastically reduced assistance to the P.A. in response to the latter using American taxpayer funds to reward terrorists and their families.
The United States has subsequently quashed other funding for the P.A.—from ceasing support for the U.N. refugee program for Palestinians, or UNRWA, to cutting U.S. security assistance to the P.A. in accordance with the Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act.