Israel says its decision to not pay salaries to the Palestinian Authority (PA) officials that have served in the Gaza Strip is part of a larger strategy to limit Palestinian economic and political autonomy.
The announcement on Tuesday was the latest in a series of announcements by the government to halt the salaries of PA officials that are due to be paid by the end of the year.
The move is part, along with an earlier decision to freeze salaries to hundreds of officials, that are part of the PA’s so-called “resistance budget” that was designed to counter the threat posed by Hamas.
The PA, which was founded in 1948, was established as a result of the 1967 Six-Day War between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).
The PA, however, has not been able to negotiate with Israel over its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip since the war.
It has been unable to end the Israeli occupation of Gaza, which Israel launched in 2007 following the 2009 kidnapping of three Israeli teens.
Israel has occupied the territory since 2014.
The new policy, announced on Tuesday, will limit salaries to PA officials serving in Gaza and West Bank, and will not apply to officials who were serving in the West Jerusalem Municipality or in the Israeli military.
According to the PA, it will pay salaries for all PA officials who serve in the territories.
The decision comes as the PA has been struggling to secure its finances amid mounting international pressure, especially in the wake of last month’s deadly assault by Israeli forces on Gaza City, which killed at least 80 Palestinians and injured more than 2,000.
The current crisis in Gaza, and the ongoing conflict between Israel, Hamas and Fatah in the Palestinian territories, have led to calls for the Palestinian government to withdraw from the West Wall, the holiest site in Islam.
The Palestinian Authority is responsible for security in Jerusalem.