Abbas and IDF: PA approaching financial meltdown
The Palestinian Authority's President Mahmoud Abbas warned on Friday during his meeting with Luxembourgian foreign minister that the Israeli withholding of tax revenue will cause a crisis that will demand from him extreme measures. His words are backed by a recent security assessment given by the outgoing IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz. Gantz warned that the continuation of the tax freeze will cause the collapse of the Palestinian authority. Abbas also met last week the EU Foreign Policy chief Federica Mogherini, who has called to release the tax funds immediately, and the Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Loefven, who announced a multi-million-euro Palestinian aid package.
The tax freeze mostly affects the Palestinian workers of the public sector, who receive their salaries directly from the Palestinian Authority. This January they were paid only 60%of their salary, and this month will again be paid the same portion of their salary. Only workers who receive 2,000 NIS or less are being paid the entire sum of their paycheck. This lead to a demonstration of teachers on the 8th of February in front of the Ministry of Education's office in Nablus.