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PA finance minister says Israel restricts 60% of revenue collection

July 2, 2021 at 10:00 am

Israeli Shekels’ bills marked with stickers reading ‘Free Palestine’ on March 7, 2011 in the West Bank city of Ramallah [ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images]

The Palestinian Authority Minister of Finance has revealed that Israel’s role in the collection of taxes and customs dues limits Ramallah’s ability to control 60 per cent of its public revenue. Shukri Bishara made his comment after meeting British Secretary of State for International Trade Liz Truss in the occupied West Bank.

“Israel controls the borders, crossing points and areas under military occupation in the West Bank,” explained Bishara. The occupation state’s measures, he added, limit the PA’s ability to spend and invest in state building.

The minister pointed out that Israel obstructs freedom of movement for goods as well as the PA’s efforts to clear customs within the Palestinian territories and trade directly via Jordan.

“Progress in resolving these issues will enable the Palestinian people to obtain sufficient resources to deal with their basic development needs, especially in light of the decrease in international financial support,” he suggested. International efforts to help amend the Paris Economic Protocol with Israel are needed, because it has become “a heavy burden on the Palestinian economy and contradicts international development efforts in Palestine.”

Bishara referred to the PA’s financial situation and the crises caused by the Israeli occupation, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. “It is difficult for the Palestinian people to overcome these successive financial crises, which must be stopped immediately, as the economy still has a long way to go to recover from all that has happened.”

According to the PA minister, Truss confirmed during the meeting that the British government will work to support the Palestinians in their legitimate demands, and to find solutions with Israel that will improve financial and economic conditions.

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