(October 7, 2020 / JNS) The European Union has told the Palestinian Authority that it will not get any more financial assistance until Ramallah accepts tax revenues collected by Israel, reported Axios on Wednesday, citing unnamed European diplomats and Israeli officials.
In May, P.A. leader Mahmoud Abbas refused to accept tax revenues collected on its behalf by Israel as part of what it says is its end of cooperation with the Jewish state over Jerusalem’s plan to extend Israeli law to parts of Judea and Samaria, also known as the West Bank. Since May, the refused tax revenues have amounted to $750 million.
Despite the normalization deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, which included the temporary suspending of plans to apply sovereignty to the West Bank, Abbas has yet to reverse his decision.
E.U. foreign-policy chief Josef Borrell called Abbas last week and told him the European Union won’t give the P.A. loans or any financial aid until it receives the tax revenues. Borrell called on Abbas to resume security and civilian coordination with Israel, but Abbas did not commit to doing so, according to the Axios report, citing unnamed European diplomats.
Egypt and Jordan have also told Abbas to resume accepting Israeli tax revenues, according to Axios, citing unnamed Israeli officials.
According to the report, Abbas is betting on Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden winning the election in November, and an expected change in policy considering Biden’s stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which includes calling for a two-state solution.
Biden has pledged to resume U.S. funding to the Palestinians in accordance with the Taylor Force Act, which U.S. President Donald Trump signed into law in March 2018, cutting off most U.S. assistance to the P.A. for its program of financially rewarding terrorists and their families. Trump has cut off other U.S. assistance to the Palestinians, including to the Palestinian refugee organization UNRWA, and halted projects by the U.S. Agency for International Development in the West Bank and Gaza.
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