The Israeli political-security cabinet on Sunday night approved the transfer to the Palestinian Authority of tax revenue Israel collected on their behalf, following the resumption of security coordination and contacts between the two parties, Kan 11 News reported Monday morning.
According to a source close to the details of the decision, NIS 2.5 billion ($754 million) will be transferred to the PA, but not before, according to Israeli law, the payments money that the PA transfers to the families of terrorists and terrorists behind bars in Israeli security prisons are deducted from the overall sum.
The offset is expected to amount to NIS 60 million ($18 million) per year.
Earlier in November, PA officials confirmed that they were resuming security and civilian coordination with Israel, and resume taking the tax money. This development was made possible following a letter received by the PA in which Israel announced that it was committed to the agreements between Israel and the Palestinians. In other words, as the local adage goes, Bibi provided the PA with a ladder to help them get off the tree.
Last July, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud announced that the Palestinian Authority would stop working under the agreements with Israel, and established a mechanism to carry out the decision, due to “the continued insistence of the occupation to deny the agreements,” as he put it.
But over a period of two weeks, since the Democratic victory in the US presidential election, Abbas has grown and matured, dropped his permanent sourpuss attitude about normalization, annexation, and cooperation, and is offering the kinds of concessions that, had he presented them to President Trump’s advisor Jared Kushner, he could have had a Palestinian state by now. The chairman will spend his days until January 20, 2021, in anticipation of a phone call from Joe Biden to restore ties with the United States. Should he receive an invitation, Abbas would catch the first available flight to Washington, probably from Amman airport.
Speaking of Amman, Abbas met on Sunday with King Abdullah II of Jordan, in his first sojourn abroad in at least a year. The meeting took place in the Jordanian Red Sea port city of Aqaba, next door to Eilat, and King Abdullah stressed the need to intensify international efforts to achieve a just and lasting peace, which must include an “independent, sovereign and viable state, on the territories occupied in 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital.”
King Abdullah also stressed Jordan’s rejection of all unilateral measures aimed at changing the identity of the city of Jerusalem and its holy places, including the Temple Mount, or as Arabs have been referring to it over the past couple of decades, the “Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site,” but who’s counting.
The official press release said “the King of Jordan reaffirmed that his country continues to play its historical and religious role in protecting the Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, out of the Hashemite custodianship of these sanctities.”
And we, Jews, have images of Jordanian roads in Jerusalem paved with our tombstones to prove it.