Israel to Withhold $180 Million in Palestinian Funds Over Militant Stipends

Israel will deduct the money it believes the Palestinian Authority has paid in stipends to militants, as it does each year since 2018

Reuters
Reuters
An Israeli military checkpoint in around the Gaza border comminutes, two months ago.
An Israeli military checkpoint in around the Gaza border comminutes, two months ago. Credit: Eliyahu Hershkovitz
Reuters
Reuters

Israel will withhold $180 million in tax revenue it collected last year on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, or about 7 percent of the PA's total tax revenue, to offset stipends paid to militants and their families, the Israeli cabinet said on Sunday.

Under a 2018 law, Israel calculates each year how much it believes the Palestinian Authority has paid in stipends to militants, and deducts that amount from the taxes it has collected on the Palestinians' behalf.

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Taxes collected by Israel form about half of the income of the Palestinian Authority, which exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank.

Israel calls stipends for militants and their families a “pay for slay” policy that encourages violence. Palestinians hail their jailed brethren as heroes in a struggle for an independent state and their families as deserving of support.

Qadri Abu Baker, head of prisoners affairs in the Palestine Liberation Organization, called the Israeli measure a crime of “terror and piracy.”

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