Palestinian gov’t official calls Israel’s plans “an act of robbery and banditry”

(Arab News) The Palestinian government on Monday has warned Israel against plans to deduct funds from the Palestinian tax revenues to compensate Israelis living near the Gaza Strip for a wave of arson attacks.

Israel, which collects the Palestinian tax revenues on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, announced plans to compensate Israeli farmers in the Gaza area peripheries whose fields were burnt by Palestinian action.

The Palestine News Agency (WAFA) quoted Palestinian government spokesman Yousef Al-Mahmoud describing the Israeli plans as “an act of robbery and banditry.”

“The Israeli government is plotting to steal the revenues of the Palestinian people,” he said in a statement. “This is an act of aggression committed by thieves called Israeli officials.”

Palestinian protesters in Gaza have been flying flammable kites to set Israeli fields ablaze after Israeli troops responded with deadly force to weekly Friday protests on the border.

The fires have reportedly damaged forests and farms, while the Palestinian death toll by Israeli gunfire has mounted to more than 120 since the protests began on March 30.

Israel collects around $100 million every month in taxes on goods imported by Palestinians and destined to the Palestinian territories that go through Israeli ports since the Palestinian borders are all under Israeli control.

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