World Bulletin / News Desk
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Al-Hamdallah held a series of meetings on Wednesday to discuss the impact of possible Israeli sanctions against the Palestinian Authority.
"The government will do its best to tackle challenges and provide services to the Palestinian people," Al-Hamdallah said in a statement.
He stressed that the "Israeli sanctions won't weaken the will of the Palestinian people or undermine their legitimate rights, including the establishment of a Palestinian state on the pre- 1967 borders with Al-Quds as its capital."
Israeli media reported that the Israeli government was planning to withhold Palestinian tax money, worth $140 million a month.
The money accounts for around 60 percent of the Palestinian government expenditure, which amounts to $240 million a month.
Israeli media also reported that the government was planning other punitive measures, giving no further details.
Israel collects taxes on incoming and outgoing goods in the occupied West Bank on behalf of the Palestinian government. The money accounted for 47 percent of the $3.6 billion Palestinian budget of last year.
Al-Hamdallah called on the Palestinian people to maintain unity in order to be able to face the Israeli penalties.
He went on to call on the international community to shoulder its responsibilities and ensure that no sanctions are applied against the Palestinian people.
Prospects for an imminent peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians appeared to crumble late last month after Israel refused to release 26 Palestinian prisoners despite earlier pledges to do so.
In retaliation, Abbas formally applied for Palestinian membership in 15 U.N. conventions.
The latest developments come only a few weeks before an April 29 negotiation deadline for the U.S.-sponsored talks.
Last Friday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said his administration would "evaluate" its role in the peace process, complaining that both sides of the conflict had recently taken unhelpful steps, thus driving Washington to reconsider its position.Last Mod: 10 Nisan 2014, 10:00