EU says no extra funding for Palestinian Authority while it refused to collect its own money from Israel
by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – The European Union has told the Palestinian Authority that it cannot have extra EU funding while Ramallah refuses to accept its own tax money collected by Israel, the Jerusalem Post reports. Anticipating Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced in May that he would cease all cooperation with Israel.
All imports to the Palestinian Authority (PA) have to go through Israeli checkpoints, and Israel collects VAT and tariffs on the goods on behalf of the PA. Israel also collects income tax and health insurance funds for Palestinians working in Israel.
Although Israel officially suspended plans for annexation in August, the PA is still refusing to receive its own money from Israel. Around $740 million is now waiting for collection. The PA has reportedly stated it will not accept the funding unless Israel commits in writing not to annex land in the West Bank.
“No stopgap extra funding should be expected…if they do not accept their own money,” an EU diplomat said on Wednesday. EU High Commissioner for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell also called Abbas last week and urged him to renew cooperation with Israel, the Jerusalem Post reports. However, the EU will continue to send its normal funding to the PA.
Germany, the UK, and Norway have joined the EU in telling the PA to take the money Israel has collected.
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