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PM calls on EU to pressure Israel to stop Palestinian tax deduction

Feb. 28, 2019 3:56 P.M. (Updated: March 1, 2019 10:53 A.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah called on the international community, particularly the European Union (EU), to pressure Israel to stop deducting from the Palestinian tax revenues, and stressed that this practice is a political rather than a financial issue.

During a meeting, on Thursday, with Susanna Terstal, the EU Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process, at his office in the central West Bank city of Ramallah, Hamdallah briefed her on the daily Israeli violations and the aggression of the Israeli army and settlers in East Jerusalem and Hebron’s holy places, settlement expansion, and Israel's efforts to destroy the two-state solution.

Israel deducted over $11 million from this month’s Palestinian tax revenues, which Hamdallah stressed is “Palestinian money collected by Israel on our behalf,” prompting the Palestinian government to refuse to accept the remaining money, which makes around 70% of the Palestinian revenues.

He said that it is necessary for the EU to recognize Palestine as a state, to push the peace process forward as demanded by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the Arab-European Summit recently held in Egypt’s city of Sharm el-Sheikh.

Hamdallah also praised the ongoing European support for Palestine and said that although many countries have reduced or stopped their aid to Palestine, the EU’s support has increased both financially and politically.

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