UN chief to Netanyahu: Do not withhold tax revenues from PA

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday that Israel should not withhold tax revenues from the Palestinian Authority following its unity deal with Hamas.

“The Secretary-General … noted that Palestinian unity is a process which is just beginning now, and thus, it would be best to assess it as it moves forward,” the U.N. press office said in a statement summarizing Ban’s telephone call with Netanyahu.

The statement added that Ban “also urged Israel not to stop transferring tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority.”

Israel blocked the transfer of 105 million dollars in customs duties and other levies it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority on Sunday, following a deal to reunite the two rival Palestinian groups Hamas and Fatah.

Israel has explained the withholding of funds, saying it refuses to let revenues flow to Hamas.
Ban said it was “urgent to overcome the impasse in the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Continued drifting will not serve the interests of both parties.”

The UN chief added that he was “convinced that realizing a negotiated two-state solution as soon as possible is in the best interest of both the Israeli and Palestinian people.”

The statement said Ban hoped Israel would “make decisive moves towards a historic agreement with the Palestinians.”

The UN chief r… >>>

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