Lieberman Vows to Stop Release of Palestinian Tax Funds

FM fervently opposes transferring tax revenues to Palestinian Authority, says money is used to fund housing for terrorists.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Monday that he vehemently opposes any decision to release Palestinian tax funds that Israel has been withholding for more than a month.

"We will do everything possible to stop the release of the money," Lieberman said during a meeting of his Yisrael Beiteinu faction.

Lieberman - Fitoussi
Olivier Fitoussi

Israel has been withholding $100 million in tax revenues from the Palestinians after UNESCO accepted them as a full member.

"I heard many childish claims that the money belongs to the Palestinians," Lieberman said. "As though with their money they are allowed to murder or call for the murder of Jews."

He said that the Palestinians use the money from the tax revenues to fund housing for terrorists.

"We will fervently oppose the money transfer," he insisted. "We won't quit the cabinet but we will do everything possible to stop the release of the money."

Earlier Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was considering releasing the Palestinians' tax money, after seeing that they had thus far refrained from pursuing any more unilateral recognition in international organizations.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as well as UN chief Ban Ki-moon, have called on Netanyahu to release the Palestinians' tax money.

Ban Ki-moon noted that Israel is required to transfer the money to the Palestinians under the terms of the agreements between the two sides and added that tensions need to be eased so that peace negotiations can be resumed.

קראו כתבה זו בעברית: ליברמן נסוג: לא נפרוש בגלל העברת הכספים לרשות