Arab League Current Affairs - 2019
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The Arab League has pledged to pay $100 million a month to the Palestinian National Authority to plug the resulting gaps since Israel has blocked tax transfers earlier in the year. The Arab League has taken the measure to ensure Palestine can be isolated from the political and financial pressure it faces.
Why did Israel freeze tax transfers to Palestine?
In February 2019, Israel decided to put into effect on Sunday a law passed by the Israeli Parliament in July 2018 calling to freeze funds transferred to the Palestinian Authority.
Israel had accused Palestine of transferring the money provided by Israel to terrorists who were detained in Israel as well as to their families and to released prisoners.
But Palestine sees the transfer as a kind of welfare system for families who have lost a breadwinner. Israel which collects taxes on behalf of the Palestine Authority says that the terror salaries are encouraging further violence.
Arab League is a regional organization of Arab states in and around North Africa, the Horn of Africa and Arabia. The league aims to “draw closer the relations between member States and co-ordinate collaboration between them, to safeguard their independence and sovereignty, and to consider in a general way the affairs and interests of the Arab countries”.
At present, the League has 22 members but Syria’s participation has been suspended since November 2011, as a consequence of government repression during the Syrian Civil War.
The Arab League has declared Lebanese movement Hezbollah, a Shia political organisation a terrorist group. The move comes after the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) had adopted the same stance.
Decision in this regard was taken during the Arab League Foreign Ministers’ meeting at the organisation’s seat in Egypt’s capital Cairo. All-22 Arab League members supported the decision except Lebanon and Iraq expressed reservations.
Hezbollah (Party of God) is a Shia political organisation created by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in the 1980s. It was established with an armed wing during Lebanon’s civil war from 1975 to 1990. Currently, it is fighting in Lebanon’s neighbouring Syria to support the Government of President Bashar al-Assad.
The United States, Canada and Australia already have listed Hezbollah as a terrorist group and the European Union (EU) has also blacklisted its military wing.