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EU contributes €10.5 million for Palestinians’ August salaries, calls for unconditional transfer of tax funds

The European Union has today provided a contribution of €10.5 million to help the Palestinian Authority pay the August salaries and pensions of its civil servants, mostly in the health and education sector in the West Bank, while calling on Israel to transfer the Palestinian tax funds without condition, according to an EU press release.

This EU contribution will help the Palestinian Authority to meet a part of its commitments towards Palestinian civil servants as it continues to face an unprecedented fiscal crisis as a result of the prolonged economic crisis in the occupied Palestinian territories, explained the EU in the press release. This situation is seriously exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing political tensions with Israel.

The €10.5 million contribution is funded by the European Union and targets civil servants, mostly working in the social sectors of health and education, as well as pensioners in the West Bank.

“This is another significant contribution from the EU for the payment of salaries and pensions. It brings our total contribution for the current expenditures of the Palestinian Authority in 2020 to around €80 million”, said EU Representative Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff.

“Under the Team Europe approach, the EU and its Member States have worked tirelessly and successfully to create fiscal space and to support the Palestinian Authority, with a view to ensuring the uninterrupted continuation of critical public services, and especially in the social sectors. The ongoing political tensions with Israel need to be overcome as soon as possible as Palestine, like the rest of the world, is struggling against the catastrophic economic and social consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. Irreversible damages to Palestine’s socio-economic fabric are not in the interest of any party. The existing bilateral agreements between Palestine and Israel must be respected and unilateral steps avoided. The Palestinian tax revenues collected by Israel should be immediately transferred and accepted without any conditions so that the Palestinian Authority is in a position to protect the Palestinian people from Covid-19 and support them in their daily economic struggle,” he said.

The Palestinian Authority was able to pay today, and for the fourth month in a row, only half the salary for its 140,000 employees and its pensioners due to Israel’s refusal to transfer around $200 million a month in tax revenues it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority on goods entering through its ports or controlled borders. The Palestinian Authority does not have control over any of its borders.

Source: Wafa News

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