PA rejects Netanyahu’s vow to deduct terror stipends from tax transfers

Palestinian Authority civil affairs minister Hussein al-Sheikh says that the PA would not go along with Israel withholding any part of the tax money it collects on its behalf, after Prime Minister Netanyahu said he would begin doing so next week.

“The Palestinian Authority will refuse to receive any cleared funds if Israel deducts a penny from it,” he tells AFP, speaking in Arabic.

He doesn’t say what the PA’s next step would be.

Netanyahu’s comments earlier today came amid rising calls for a response following the arrest of a Palestinian man, Arafat Irfayia, 29, on Friday following the brutal murder of 19-year-old Ori Ansbacher in a southern Jerusalem wood a day earlier.

The Knesset passed a law in July slashing Palestinian tax funds Israel transfers to the PA by the amount Ramallah pays to convicted terrorists and the families of Palestinians killed while carrying out attacks.

The government had been refusing to implement the power given to it by the law, which is opposed by security officials who fear furthers cuts to the PA’s budget could hurt security cooperation or destabilize the West Bank.

— with AFP

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