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Israel Orders New Economic Rules for Palestinians

February 19, 1988|Associated Press

JERUSALEM — Israel imposed tough rules on the occupied territories Thursday that are intended to hurt the Palestinians economically unless they stop strikes, withholding of taxes and other acts of civil disobedience.

A senior Israeli official said the new restrictions require Palestinians to prove they have paid their taxes before they can travel abroad or import or export goods. Palestinians must also register when they bring $1,000 or more into the country. The previous limit was $5,000.

The new law is designed to hinder the flow of Palestine Liberation Organization funds into the territories. The statute could hurt the daily commerce across the Allenby Bridge between the West Bank and Jordan.

"We hope this, combined with other measures, will help quell the disturbances," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "The people have to decide who they should be more afraid of, the Israelis or the Arab inciters."

Israel collects taxes on property and business and personal income. There also are import duties, a sales tax and stamp taxes on documents.

Meanwhile, arrests were reported Thursday but no casualties in confrontations between soldiers and protesters in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

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