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Israel cuts Palestinian Authority tax funds over West Bank attacks

Prime Minister Netanyahu accuses PA of supporting families of 'terrorists' with share of custom duties transferred monthly to it by Israel
Netanyahu's office accused the PA of "encouragement of terrorism... in the form of both incitement and payments to terrorists and their families" (AFP)

Israel is to reduce the amount of tax funds transferred monthly to the Palestinian Authority, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Friday, as part of a measures following deadly anti-Israeli attacks.

"Netanyahu has ordered that the entire amount of support for terrorists and their families be deducted from the tax revenues that Israel transfers monthly to the Palestinian Authority," his office said.

Israel transfers around $127 million in customs duties levied on goods destined for Palestinian markets that transit through Israeli ports monthly.

The statement from Netanyahu's office accused the PA of supporting the families of militants with funds transferred "by various laundering methods".

An Israeli official put the amount of money at "tens of millions of shekels".

The decision comes hours after suspected Palestinian gunmen killed an Israeli man, and a day after a 13-year-old girl was stabbed to death in her home in the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba.

It was announced at the same time the military said it was imposing a closure on and around the West Bank city of Hebron.

"Israel believes that the encouragement of terrorism by the Palestinian leadership – in the form of both incitement and payments to terrorists and their families – constitutes incentive for murder," the statement from Netanyahu's office read.