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PA to pay 50% of monthly payroll to Palestinian civil servants

March 10, 2019 1:26 P.M. (Updated: March 14, 2019 10:21 A.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Minister of Finance, Shukri Bishara, said that the Palestinian government will be paying only 50% of the monthly payroll of the Palestinian civil servants for the month of February 2019, as a result of Israel’s decision to withhold tax revenues it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA).

During a joint press conference with the Minister of Information and the government’s spokesperson, Bishara said that employees whose salaries are below 2,000 shekels ($550) will receive a full salary for February 2019, however, the rest of the civil servants will receive 50% of their monthly salary for the same month.

He also confirmed that the 50% will not be less than a minimum of 2,000 shekels.

Bishara added that the government decided to freeze all recruitment and promotions of civil servants, as well as the purchase of real estate and vehicles during this time of crisis. In addition, leave allowances of civil servants and government officials will also be significantly downsized.

In mid-February, Israel's security cabinet approved to withhold around 502,697,00 shekels ($138 million) in tax revenues which are collected on behalf of the PA and is the amount the PA pays as stipends to the families of Palestinians killed or imprisoned by Israel be deducted from the money Israel hands over to the PA.

Israel collects funds from imports into the West Bank and Gaza, in addition to other taxes, and forwards a large sum of it to the PA, after deduction of payments for water and electricity.

The large sum makes up the largest part of the Palestinian government's budget.
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