Israel to transfer funds to P.A.

May 2, 2011 at 9:03 AM
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JERUSALEM, May 2 (UPI) -- Israel, following the intervention of U.S. officials, will transfer about $89 million in tax revenue to the Palestinian Authority, Israeli officials said.

The unnamed officials said the funds would be transferred next week, Haaretz reported Monday.

On Sunday, senior U.S. officials sought clarification of Israel's plans to temporarily suspend the transfer of funds to the P.A.

The officials sought the clarification after Army Radio reported Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz had decided to halt the transfer of the tax revenues to the P.A. in response to the Fatah-Hamas unity, the newspaper said.

The American officials met with members of the Treasury Department and the prime minister's office to discuss the issue and demanded a meeting between Israeli and Palestinian officials to arrange the transfer, Haaretz said.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's office denied a decision had been made to stop the transfer of funds, the newspaper said.

The Oslo Accords, signed in 1993, provided a framework for relations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The Paris Agreement, signed between the two sides a year later, stipulated that Israel is responsible for setting the VAT (value added tax) and custom rates on goods in the Gaza Strip and collecting taxes and transferring the funds to the P.A. each month.

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