A leading member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and the secretary general of the Palestinian National Initiative, Mustafa Barghouti, has called for a review of the Paris Economic Agreement. The agreement was signed 17 years ago to establish economic relations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Barghouti said in a press release that the Palestinian people are paying with their daily livelihood as a result of the Paris protocol that is unjust toward Palestinians' rights. He added that the agreement keeps the Palestinian economy dependent on the Israeli economy, and allows Israel to withhold Palestinian tax revenue and use it to put pressure on the Palestinians for political gains. If Palestinians are to be free, he claims, the agreement needs to be reviewed.
Calling for a national, unified strategy based on escalating popular resistance and boycotting Israeli goods, Barghouti also called for the adoption of an economic policy based on support for the Palestinian people and backing for their resolve against Israel's attempts to drive them from their land. He argued that the Israeli budget should be reconsidered in a way that helps to alleviate Palestinians suffering from the high cost of living, high taxes and rising prices.
The PLC member noted that the current Israeli-imposed taxation regime causes great suffering for Palestinians, who pay much more than their Israeli counterparts for public services such as water and electricity, even though the average Israeli consumes 50 times more.