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Wednesday April 7, 2010 4:38 PM (EST+7)
Israel seizing hundreds of millions of shekels meant for Palestinian services

Read more: international law, Area C, Israel, occupation

RAMALLAH, Apr. 7 (JMCC) - Israel has been appropriating funds derived from occupied territory in contradiction to international law for over 15 years, according to a report published in Haaretz.

According to international law, it is illegal for an occupying power to appropriate funds made in occupied territory. Such funds are supposed to be spent on services for the occupied people on occupied territory.

However, since the Oslo Accords were signed, Israel began channeling such funds back into its own territory, despite the money coming from land designated as 'Area C' inside the West Bank.

...Recently, a lawyer at the Military Advocate General's Office said the transfer of such funds to the state was improper. Because the issue is complex and has budget ramifications far beyond the military, the authorities entrusted the inquiry to Deputy Attorney General Malchiel Blas.

He ruled that the direct transfer of the funds to the state budget should cease. A team that includes officials from the treasury, Justice Ministry and Civil Administration is now examining the implications of Blas' decision.

At the team's meetings, the Civil Administration has requested that the money again be directly channeled to its coffers. The Finance Ministry, by contrast, proposed that a fund be set up for the money, which would be divided among various ministries investing in the territories, such the transportation, agriculture and industry, trade and labor ministries...

Although Israel contends that it invests significantly more money in the West Bank than it appropriates, it is not quite clear who the money Israel invests is for. Nearly half-a-million illegal Jewish settlers currently live in occupied Palestinian territory. 

Read the whole story at Haaretz...






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