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Occupied Territories: Taxation

Volume 459: debated on Wednesday 2 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations have been made to Israel and the Palestinian authorities on the release of Palestinian tax and customs revenues collected by Israel. (134525)

We welcome Israeli Prime Minister Olmert and Palestinian President Abbas’ meeting on 23 December 2006, and the resulting release of US$100 million in Palestinian tax revenues.

At the General Affairs and External Relations Council on 23 April, EU Foreign Ministers repeated their call for Israel to immediately resume the transfer of withheld Palestinian tax and customs revenues, directly or through the Temporary International mechanism. We support this. Officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office raised this issue with the Israeli Embassy in London on 18 April.

We have not made any formal representations to the Palestinian authorities, as it is the Palestinian Authority’s money that is being withheld. However, we have discussed the issue with the Palestinian Authority on a number of occasions.