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Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Israel to give tax revenue to Jihadist Palestinian Authority

From 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.
Israel should absolutely freeze handing money over to an entity that includes Hamas in its government, just as it did in the past.

It is more than troubling that the US is pressuring Israel to do otherwise.

In 2006, when Israel imposed a similar freeze, it was with the full knowledge and cooperation of the US (and probably the Quartet.) So what has changed?

A tweet from Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt exposes, in this case, how insanely anti-Israel some European diplomats are:
Worried by reports that Israel government will steal tax money from Palestinian Authority. Unacceptable.
He is calling a freeze on the funds, where they will not be touched, "stealing." One would expect that a diplomat would be more circumspect in his language, but sometimes hate trumps acting like an adult.

(h/t Marcus)