Smotrich orders the deduction of 130 million shekels from the clearing funds


Bethlehem – Ma’an – Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich ordered the deduction of 130 million shekels from Palestinian clearance funds as compensation for 28 Jewish families harmed by Palestinian operations.

The amounts, some of which reach millions per family, will be transferred in the coming days. The confiscation will be made from the clearance funds collected by Israel for the benefit of the Palestinian Authority.

According to Israel Today newspaper, some of these operations took place more than 20 years ago. It should be noted that in addition to the expected payments in these cases, there are judgments that have not yet been transferred to the treasury and are still in various stages of processing in the Israeli Ministry of Justice.

The Israeli Ministry of Finance says that Smotrich’s decision opens a “green path” to confiscate the Palestinian Authority’s funds, which is expected to lead to a wave of new lawsuits against it.

The newspaper added, “The deduction of 130 million shekels from the P
alestinian Authority’s funds joins other steps taken by Smotrich in financial relations with the Palestinian Authority, despite intense American pressure to stop this.”

Israeli courts issued decisions to transfer amounts of clearance dues to Israelis on the grounds that they were harmed by Palestinian armed operations. According to the newspaper, half of these cases were brought to the courts by Israeli agents, in which they claimed that they had been subjected to torture by the security services of the Palestinian Authority.

The newspaper pointed out that Smotrich began deducting amounts from the clearing dues to pay debts to the Israeli Electricity Company in exchange for supplying electricity to the West Bank.

At the beginning of this year, the Israeli Cabinet for Political and Security Affairs (the Cabinet) approved a plan to transfer clearing funds through Norway as a third party. This plan comes after the Palestinian Authority refused to receive the clearance funds after Israel’s decision to deduct t
he Gaza Strip’s share of them.

The Israeli decision, at the request of the US administration, stipulates that the clearance funds, in the amount of between 750-800 million shekels, be deposited in a ‘trust account’ in Norway, and that the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah can obtain the West Bank’s share from Norway, and the Gaza Strip’s share remains in “Credit Account”.

Source: Maan News Agency

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