Erekat slams Israel decision to funnel PA taxes to Gaza

Move comes within framework of US administration’s ‘Deal of Century’, PLO official asserts

Erekat slams Israel decision to funnel PA taxes to Gaza

RAMALLAH, Palestine

The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) on Tuesday slammed an Israeli decision to disburse part of the tax revenue collected on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA) to the cash-strapped Gaza Strip.

“This decision comes within the framework of the so-called ‘Deal of the Century’, which is based on [Israel’s] racist Nation-State Law, and on the scheme to separate Gaza from the West Bank and Jerusalem,” Saeb Erekat, secretary-general of the PLO’s Executive Committee, told Palestine Radio.

The “Deal of the Century” refers to a backchannel U.S. Mideast peace plan, details of which have yet to be made public.

“Israel and the U.S. administration are expediting the separation [of the Gaza Strip from the West Bank] by all means possible,” Erekat said.

The recent Israeli decision, he added, “shows their determination to uncouple the two territories with a view to destroying the Palestinian national project”.

Earlier this week, Erekat announced that Israel had threatened to cut funds from taxes collected on behalf of the PA and disburse them to blockaded Gaza.

Under the terms of the 1993 Oslo Accords, Israel — on behalf of the PA — collects roughly $175 million in monthly taxes on Palestinian imports and exports.

As it currently stands, tax revenue represents the main source of the cash-strapped PA’s income.

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