Palestinian official says fuel tax crisis with Israel over

Palestinian Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh revealed Thursday that the fuel tax crisis with Israel has ended.

“The crisis of fuel tax between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israel has ended after tedious negotiations … the PA will start importing fuel without tax,” al-Sheikh said in a tweet on his Twitter account.

But “this doesn’t mean that the financial crisis has ended, as billions of our dollars are still withheld by Israel,” he added.

The PA has been facing a severe financial crisis since Israel deducted millions of U.S. dollars from PA tax revenues, on the pretext that PA pays families of Palestinians either killed or imprisoned by Israel for carrying out anti-Israel “terrorist acts.”

The PA decided to decline to receive the tax revenues with the deduction by Israel.

Israel, on behalf of the PA, collects about 190 million dollars in custom duties every month on the goods imported into Palestine from countries and regions excluding Israel, and then should transfer it to the PA.

Palestinian Finance Ministry reports show that the tax revenues transfers make up nearly half of PA’s budget, therefore the Israeli move, in addition to the U.S. aid cut, leaves the PA in a critical financial situation.