Under the current peace accords, Israel collects close to $100 million each month in duties for the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. The money is used primarily to pay salaries in the public sector.
The Foreign Minister from Israel, Avigdor Lieberman, said during a Tuesday night speech that the Palestinians can just forget about receiving anything over the next four months and at the conclusion of those four months, Israel will decide how it will proceed.
Israel has said that Mahmoud Abbas the Palestinian President violated peace accords that had been established previously by side stepping the stalled negotiations and securing a status upgrade for Palestinians last month at the United Nations.
The funds transfer for December has been held back by Israel, with the Israelis saying the money would be used in order to start paying a $200 million utility bill the Palestinians owe to the Israel Electric company.
Lieberman is a member of the conservative coalition of Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel’s government and said the Palestinians had a second debt with the water authority in Israel.
Senior Palestinian Yasser Abed Rabbo said in early December that Israel had been guilty of theft and piracy by not handing over money that was the Palestinians.
Israel was criticized by the EU for not releasing the monies.