Fri, 22 Oct 2021

RAMALLAH, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- The financial situation of the Palestinian Authority (PA) is likely to get more complicated unless Israel stops holding its tax revenue dues, Palestinian Finance Minister Shukri Bishara warned on Wednesday.

"If Israel doesn't release the money that it holds in the coming weeks, the financial situation will witness more complexity," Bishara warned, adding that there is a need to reform the financial relationship with Israel and the clearing mechanism.

He made the remarks in a press statement issued after he met at his office in the West Bank city of Ramallah with representatives of donors, such as the European Union, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations.

According to the economic agreement signed in Paris between Israel and the Palestinians in 1994, Israel collects taxes from the Palestinian trade on behalf of the PA and pays it back to the Palestinian government.

Bishara called on the international community to take all necessary diplomatic efforts to urge the Israeli side to respond to the Palestinian demands, noting that the international donations paid to the PA had dropped to 90 percent in 2021.

He said the annual tax revenues that Israel collects from the Palestinian trade on behalf of the Palestinian government and pays it back every month are estimated at more than 1 billion U.S. dollars.

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