Palestine rejects Israeli court decision on tax deductions

PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh (Phil Noble - AFP)

Middle East Monitor  /  April 11, 2022

The Palestinian government, on Monday, rejected an Israeli judicial decision to allow a deduction from Palestinian taxes in compensation to Israelis affected by attacks, Anadolu News Agency reports.

Speaking at a weekly Cabinet meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Palestinian Prime Minister, Mohammad Shtayyeh, termed the Israeli decision as “illegal” and “illegitimate”.

“The Israeli Court view that accuses the Palestinian Authority of supporting terrorism is unacceptable, illegal and illegitimate,” he said, considering the Court to be “one of the tools of the occupation”.

Shtayyeh reiterated his government’s commitment to supporting the families of Palestinians killed by Israel and those languishing in Israeli prisons.

On Sunday, Israel’s High Court of Justice ruled that the Palestinian Authority can be held liable for “terrorist” acts, due to its payment of stipends to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails and families of those killed by Israel.

The Court allowed the Jerusalem District Court to determine the amount of compensation in favour of four families who lost relatives in Palestinian attacks 20 years ago.

The tax revenues — known in Palestine and Israel as “maqasa” – are collected by the Israeli government on behalf of the Palestinian Authority on Palestinian imports and exports. Israel, in return, earns a commission of 3 per cent of collected revenues.

The tax revenues collected are estimated at around $30-33 million every month, for which tax revenues represent the main source of income for the Palestinian Authority.