Össur Skarphéðinsson, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland, urges the Israeli authorities to immediately release Palestinian tax funds to the Palestinian Authority in order for them to be able to provide essential services and pay wages.
Following a reconciliation agreement between the Hamas and Fatah-movements, Israeli authorities froze payments of tax and customs, collected on behalf of the Palestinian authority. This amounts to 70% of the PA revenues.
The Foreign Minister says it is totally unacceptable for Israel to block payments belonging to the Palestinians in this way and that Israel must relase the payments immediately. The Foreign Minister furthermore encourages the Israeli authorities to follow in the footsteps of Fatah and Hamas, in burying their differences. The Minister welcomes the agreement between the two movements and hopes it will improve the fate of the Palestinian nation. Minister Skarphéðinsson says that the unilateral and illegal action of the Israeli authorities is nothing short of an attempt to undermine this new agreement and to further increase the suffering of the Palestinian public which is counting on official and foreign assistance for survival.