ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 147

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Contradicting Smotrich, Gallant says Israel should transfer frozen funds to PA

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant addresses the Israeli press from Tel Aviv's IDF headquarters, October 26, 2023. (Elad Malka/Defense Ministry)
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant addresses the Israeli press from Tel Aviv's IDF headquarters, October 26, 2023. (Elad Malka/Defense Ministry)

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant says that Israel should transfer frozen funds to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, indirectly criticizing the decision earlier this week of Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich.

“It is appropriate to transfer, and transfer immediately, the funds to the Palestinian Authority so that they will be used by its forces that help prevent terrorism,” he says at a press conference.

On Sunday, Smotrich announced a halt in the transfer of Palestinian tax revenues to the PA, claiming that Ramallah supported the October 7 massacre.

Due to the PA’s lack of statehood status, Israel is responsible for collecting customs duties and other tax revenues on its behalf. It transfers them to Ramallah on a monthly basis, providing funds that amount to nearly 65 percent of the Palestinian annual budget, which is roughly NIS 18 billion ($5.27 billion).

Washington pushed back heavily against Smotrich’s announcement.

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