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.