Palestine rejects Israel tax transfer
06 April 2015, Nirapad News: Palestine president Mahmoud Abbas says he has refused to accept hundreds of millions of dollars of tax revenues unfrozen by Israel. Abbas says he returned the money because Israel deducted a third to pay for what it called utility bills.
He has threatened to take Israel to the International Criminal Court (ICC) unless the full amount is released. Israel collects taxes on behalf of the Palestine government, but halted payments in January. It had frozen transfers in protest at the Palestinians joining the ICC. Palestinian membership began on 1 April, giving them the option to pursue Israel for alleged war crimes.
Israel says it has deducted the cost of services provided to the Palestinian population, including electricity, water and hospital bills.
The government made the decision to restart payments two weeks ago but warned at the time that it would make deductions from the transfer.
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the time the ‘deteriorating situation in the Middle East’ and rise of extremists required him to ‘act responsibly’.