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‘Officials believe PA collapse is only a matter of time’

March 26, 2020 at 1:44 pm

Empty streets and closed shops are seen after a curfew was announced by authorities as a measure against coronavirus (COVID-19), in Ramallah, West Bank on 23 March 2020 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

Officials in the Palestinian Authority believe that its collapse is only a matter of time in the light of the ongoing coronavirus crisis, Today’s Opinion has reported. The claim apparently originated with their counterparts in Israel.

According to an Israeli journalist writing for Israel Hayom, the comprehensive closure policy adopted by the PA in the occupied West Bank as part of the battle against the virus will have severe economic consequences that might lead to the authority’s collapse. The reported expectations of security and political officials in Israel is that this will push thousands of Palestinians to leave the West Bank and possibly even the Gaza Strip and head for Israel to save themselves.

READ: Palestine reports first death from coronavirus

Despite the full cooperation between the PA and Israel on security and health issues, the journalist feels that the ongoing efforts to curb the spread of the virus have curtailed the era of economic prosperity in the occupied territory. One PA official quoted by Israel Hayom said that the economy cannot survive without basic incomes and an economic horizon. The ensuing chaos might surface “very soon” and then spread to Gaza.

Efforts to alleviate the expected economic crash, it is said, include 150 million New Israeli Shekels to be transferred from Tel Aviv to the PA. This is the tax revenue that has been withheld from the Palestinian Authority by Israel.

Coronavirus is affecting the world's economy - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Coronavirus is affecting the world’s economy – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]