Norway says it agrees to transfer tax funds from Israel to Palestinian Authority

Illustrative: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas gestures as he chairs a Palestinian National Council meeting in Ramallah on April 30, 2018. (AFP/ABBAS MOMANI/File)
Illustrative: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas gestures as he chairs a Palestinian National Council meeting in Ramallah on April 30, 2018. (AFP/ABBAS MOMANI/File)

Norway has agreed to help transfer frozen tax funds earmarked for the Palestinian Authority that were collected by Israel, the Norwegian Foreign Ministry says, providing vital funding to the Western-backed entity.

“The temporary scheme will play a crucial role in preventing the Palestinian Authority from collapsing financially,” the Norwegian ministry says in a statement.

Israel approved a framework last month under which the Gaza-designated portion of PA tax funds will be sent to Norway, which will hold onto the funds until far-right Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich authorizes their funneling to the PA.

The PA had refused to accept a partial transfer of the tax funds Israel collects on its behalf since November, when the government decided to deduct the amount that was earmarked to send to Gaza to pay for services and salaries in the coastal enclave.

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