Taxes are a key source of income to the Palestinian government. Israel on Wednesday transferred over $1 billion in taxes and customs duties it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority on Wednesday after a six-month hiatus in which the Palestinians had severed ties with Israel over its plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank. This came after Palestinians resumed contact with Israel following the win of Joe Biden in the US presidential election. Biden has expressed opposing views to Annexation in contrast with Donald Trump and the former has promised a more even-handed approach to resolve the conflict.
Former president of the United States, Donald Trump’s plan for the middle-east allowed Israel to Annex a third of the West Bank. Following this revelation, the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas immediately rejected the plan and severed ties with US and Israel. It was only in August that Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu signed a deal with the United Arab Emirates putting a temporary pause on the proposal of annexation.
Palestinian Authority, which administers parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank was forced to cut the salaries of tens of thousands of civil servants, worsening an economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Hussein al-Sheikh, a close aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, confirmed the receipt of nearly 3.8 billion shekels (around $1.1 billion) from Israel. Israel’s Finance Ministry said the funds were transferred following the approval of the Israeli Security Cabinet in November.
Israel said it would deduct an amount equal to what the Palestinian Authority pays to the families of prisoners and those killed in the conflict, including militants implicated in attacks that harmed and killed Israelis. Israel’s stand on Martyrs’ Fund incentivising violence remains intact, while the Palestinians say it provides necessary aid to the needy families.
Although much of Joe Biden’s plans about the Israel-Palestanian conflict are unclear, he vowed to restore required help to the Palestinians and urge both sides to move towards long due peace process.