Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said he signed a double offset of the "terrorist funds" that the Palestinian Authority transfers to the "families of terrorists".
The Israeli government has announced it will double the amount of Palestinian tax money it confiscates to about $30 million.
The announcement was made on Thursday.
“I signed a double offset of the terrorist funds that the Palestinian Authority transfers to the families of terrorists," Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich tweeted.
For more than two years, Israel has confiscated about $14.5 million a month from Palestinian tax money.
Israel says that this money is equivalent to what the Palestinian Authority pays monthly to the families of prisoners and martyrs as social assistance.
However, Smotrich said he decided this month to double the amount to $29 million, plus another $59,000.
“We gave 100 million new Israeli shekels to the Palestinian Authority instead of 50 million until now. And another 200,000 new Israeli shekels that will go as compensation to the families of victims of terrorism, according to a court ruling,” the Israeli minister added.
Smotrich accused the Palestinian Authority of "financing terrorists."
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In early January, Israel decided to deduct $40.5 million from Palestinian funds as compensation for Israelis who “are victims of Palestinian attacks.”
At the time, the Palestinian Authority described this decision as "unacceptable blackmail," stressing that it would continue to pay allowances for prisoners and families of deceased.
Israel deducts these funds from the Palestinian clearance funds.
Clearance is tax and customs money on imported Palestinian goods, which the Israeli Ministry of Finance collects and transfers monthly to the Palestinian Authority after deducting part of it for electricity debts, hospitals and fines.
During 2021, the average clearing funds after Israeli deductions amounted to $220.8 million per month.
Clearance funds constitute approximately 63 percent of the monthly income of the Palestinian government.
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