Tax payments to Palestinians frozen

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A double suicide bombing in Tel Aviv on Sunday prompted Ariel Sharon to shut down payments and then refuse permission for Palestinian officials to travel to London for a peace conference next week.

Israel holds some £261m in collected customs duties on goods destined for Palestinian territory. Partial payments resumed last month following a peace agreement that appointed USAID accountants to monitor the money’s audit trail to ensure it would not finance terrorism. Two payments of some £7m have been made so far.

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