Newspapers Review: Dailies Highlight Israel’s Freeze of PA Tax Revenues

RAMALLAH, January 4, 2015 (WAFA) – The Israeli Government’s freezing of Palestinian’s tax revenues, in the aftermath of the Palestinian Authority’s attempt to join the International Criminal Court, made headlines of the three Palestinian Arabic dailies on Sunday.

The three papers said Israel froze no less than $125 million of tax revenues which Israel collects on PA’s behalf as a penalty for signing on 16 international treaties and conventions, including the Rome Statute of the ICC.

The Israeli decision would hinder PA’s ability to pay for civil servants’ salaries and pensions.

Al-Hayat al-Jadida said Israel was seeking a pretext to prosecute Palestinian officials, including President Mahmoud Abbas, following the submission of the Palestinian application to join ICC.

Al-Ayyam quoted chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat who described the Israeli decision as an act of “piracy,” stressing that the Palestinian leadership will not give up its people’s rights.

Al-Ayyam and al-Quds said three Palestinians were injured by Israeli soldiers and settlers’ live bullets during confrontations in the village of Aqraba, to the south of Nablus, on Saturday. They said three other Palestinians were arrested by the Israeli army.

Al-Quds said the Israeli navy opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats off the Gaza coast, injuring at least one fisherman and destroying his fishing boat.

Al-Ayyama and al-Hayat quoted Secretary General of the Arab League, Nabil al-Arabi, as saying that Israel practices a form of “state terrorism” against the Palestinian people.