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PA to pay only 50% of March payroll to Palestinian civil servants

April 1, 2019 1:23 P.M. (Updated: April 2, 2019 2:30 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Ministry of Finance announced, on Monday, that for the second month in a row, the Palestinian government will pay only 50% of the March salary to civil servants.

The monthly salaries of civil servants were cut in half since February after the Palestinian Authority (PA) rejected to accept about $200 million in tax revenues, which Israel collects on behalf of the PA, as a result of Israel’s security cabinet approving a deduction of $138 million.

The PA demanded the entire amount of the collected tax revenues or none at all, as a form of protest against the Israeli deduction.

The ministry said in a statement that a minimum of 2,000 shekels ($551) will be paid for low paid employees, who make up some 40% of the total number of civil servants, and a maximum of 10,000 shekels ($2,757) for the highly paid cabinet ministers, judges, and diplomatic staff.

The ministry confirmed that Palestinian prisoners and families of injured and killed Palestinians will be paid full stipends.

The ministry also stressed that the PA’s position on rejecting the tax revenues remains “as long as Israel continues to deduct money from it at its own whim without coordination with the PA.”

The tax revenues 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.

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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