RAMALLAH, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- Palestine on Tuesday condemned the Israeli decision to deduct 2.9 million U.S. dollars from the Palestinian tax revenue dues that Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA).
On Monday, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz signed an order to deduct 2.9 million U.S. dollars from the Palestinian tax revenue dues. The sum is transferred by the PA to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, according to Israeli media reports.
Head of the Palestinian Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners Affairs Authority, Qadri Abu Bakr, said in a press statement sent to Xinhua that he condemned the Israeli decision.
He added that the Israeli decision comes within an Israeli policy to restrict the Palestinian prisoners and their families and to embarrass the PA under the pretext of fighting terrorism.
"The decision is a violation of international norms and covenants," Abu Bakr said.
According to the 1993 Oslo peace accords signed between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, Israel collects tax revenues on behalf of the PA and transfers the money to PA on a monthly basis. Israel often withholds the transfer as a way to apply pressure on the PA.
According to the Israeli media report, the Israeli decision to deduct the money comes within the scheme's framework "to combat terrorist organizations and the payments that the PA transfers to Palestinian detainees."
The report said the confiscated sum is related to 86 Palestinian detainees and their families, adding that the Israeli authorities had instructed Israeli banks in which there are accounts for the detainees and their families to seize their money.