Israel to transfer cash to Palestinians

Israel has agreed to transfer to the Palestinians cash it withheld after the rival Palestinian factions signed a unity pact.

Israel collects tax funds and customs fees from Palestinians who work in Israel on the Palestinians’ behalf. It is supposed to transfer the money to the Western-backed Palestinian Authority.

But it held up the transfer this month, saying it feared money would reach militants in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

Earlier this month, the Palestinian Authority signed a unity deal with the Iranian-backed Hamas, which has killed hundreds of Israelis.

Israel had come under heavy international pressure to release the funds.

The Finance Ministry said the exact sum transferred would be determined in a meeting with Palestinian officials. — ap