Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Israel Freezes PA Tax Transfers. That's Bad. But It Does Make Sense.

Okay, now this is really getting complicated. Apparently there were some earlier agreements that obligated Israel to release tax transfer monies to the Palestinian Authority in Gaza. The current amount in question is $100 Million. Israel stopped sending it over since UNESCO voted earlier in favor of admitting the Palestinians into the organization.

The tax are due to various trade and tariff taxes. Israel is on thin ice here morally. The issue is this: Israel technically owes the PA these funds and she and the world know it.

But the PA is trying to woo and reconcile with Hamas (the Palestinian group out of Lebanon that refuses to recognize Israel and wants to eliminate it off the face of the earth not unlike the wishes and desires of Iran that backs Hamas financially and otherwise).

So Israel must be thinking that inasmuch as your friends are my enemies, you (PA and Fatah) need to decide between them (Hamas) and me (Israel). And if you decide for them, that makes you my enemy and we're at war. War is war. I keep the money.

Meanwhile Israel claims to be just holding on to it until it sees what happens this Thursday once Hamas and Fatah finish some key talks on reconciliation.

Clearly if there's no deal and there is evidence that there won't be one any time soon, Israel should give the PA the money they had agreed to. But if there is a deal or one is still being pursued, it will be a moot point as sooner or later all hell will break out and since no one is really going to go to bat for Israel, it won't matter whether they held on to the money or not.  They could like use it to buy some more arms which they'll need.

When you add the world's pressure on Israel to hand over the money, the plot thickens. But of course there's also the pressure that Israel is trying to impose on America and the other so-called friendlier countries to go after Iran, and this may just be it's best leverage card.

All this to say this will be a very interesting spot to watch in the next few weeks leading up to Christmas.

World pushes Israel to release fu... JPost - Diplomacy & Politics

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