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PLO not buying Netanyahu’s ‘peace’ offerings

The Palestine Liberation Organization has dismissed Israel's release of withheld tax monies as public relations maneuvering while also documenting ongoing Israeli occupation activities and destruction of Palestinian property and land.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (C) attends a meeting with the Palestinian Liberation Organization's (PLO) central council in the West Bank City of Ramallah April 26, 2014. Abbas said on Saturday he was still ready to extend stalled peace talks with Israel, as long as it met his long-standing demands to free prisoners and halt building on occupied land. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman (WEST BANK - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR3MPN5

Some of the early decisions by the right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have been contrary to conventional thinking following an election victory. It was predicted that he would most likely release tax money withheld from the Palestinian government and would reverse some decisions regarding settlement expansion. This is precisely what Netanyahu has done, but his actions seem not to have fooled or assuaged anyone.

The Palestinian Ministry of Finance refused to see the announced release of funds rightly belonging to Palestinians as a kind gesture. They also sharply criticized an Israeli decision to continue to hold on to some of the funds, allegedly to cover debts of the Palestinian government. The ministry issued a press release insisting on receipt of all the withheld tax money and asserting that only established accounting procedures were acceptable. “Any unilateral reduction of the earmarked monies outside the agreed-upon accounting procedures is yet another punishment of the Palestinian people,” the statement said.

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