Palestinians: Tax deal with Israel to ease fiscal crisis

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — The Palestinian Authority says it has reached an agreement with Israel to restore some of the much-needed tax funds withheld by Israel in recent months.

Israel began this year withholding parts of some $200 million in monthly tax transfers that the Palestinians give to families of people killed or imprisoned in fighting with Israel.

Israel says the payments encourage violence, while the Palestinians say the funds assist distressed families. In protest, they have refused to accept any funds from Israel.

Under Thursday’s agreement, the Palestinians say Israel will stop collecting about $60 million in monthly fuel taxes and allow the Palestinians to collect the funds directly.

Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayeh says the additional revenue will ease a financial crisis and allow him to slightly increase civil servants’ partial salary payments.

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