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Monday, March 25, 2013

Netanyahu resumes terrorist funding transfers to 'Palestinians'

Prime Minister Netanyahu has decided to resume the transfer of tax moneys to the 'Palestinian Authority.' Some of the tax moneys are used to pay salaries to terrorists held in Israeli jails.
Netanyahu withheld the transfer of tax revenues collected for the PA in the aftermath of the Palestinian statehood upgrade at the UN in November.
Since, Israel has evaluated the transfer of the tax revenues to the PA on a month-by-month basis. Monday's directive appeared to normalize the tax transfers, cancelling the monthly reviews.
The aid-dependent Palestinian Authority has been in a financial crisis fueled by a drop in assistance from Western and wealthy Gulf backers, renewed tensions with Israel and a need to meet an expanding public sector payroll.
The International Monetary Fund warned earlier this month that the Palestinian Authority's fiscal situation was "increasingly precarious."
The IMF called for urgent action to help it close a gaping budget deficit and to stabilize the economy.
The United States confirmed over the weekend that it was releasing nearly $500 million in aid which had been frozen to the PA.
However, a PA official consequently warned that the financial crisis in the West Bank was not over despite the US aid.
"Only $200 million of the $480 million from the United States will go to the Treasury, and the rest will be go to USAID-funded projects," the Bethlehem-based Ma'an News Agency quoted PA Labor Minister Ahmad Majdalani as saying on Saturday.
He added that of the $1.3 billion in aid pledged to the PA from various donor countries in 2012, only some $800 million had actually been transferred.
The IMF urged the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority to draw up contingency plans that include spending cuts. It also said the Authority should look at ways to boost growth, which is forecast at roughly 4.0 percent between 2013 to 2016.
The IMF said unemployment had increased to almost a quarter of the labor force by the end of 2012, with unemployment among the youth particularly high.
In the past few months, the Authority has failed to pay full salaries to its 160,000 employees in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, territory controlled by the rival Hamas Islamist movement.
What could go wrong?

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