Palestinian Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh yesterday received the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, in his office in Ramallah.
According to a statement released by the PM’s office, Shtayyeh and Wennesland discussed the latest political developments and their impact on Palestine.
Shtayyeh called on the international community to stop using double standards in applying international law when it comes to Palestine.
He also highlighted that the upcoming Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) meeting taking place in the Belgian capital, Brussels, on 10 May, to discuss the comprehensive reform plan prepared by the Palestinian government, will be hindered if Israel does not release tax revenues it owes the Palestinian Authority.The AHLC is a 15-member committee made up of the United States, the European Union, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, Russia, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, Norway, Israel and Palestine.
Israel collects tax revenues on behalf of the Palestinian Authority and transfers them on a monthly basis to Ramallah after deducting part to cover electricity costs and medical transfer costs in Israeli hospitals. It has also been withholding part of the taxes which it says the PA uses to pay the families of Palestinian prisoners and former prisoners who were held in the occupation’s jails.
International financial support for the PA has dwindled over the years. Until 2013, nearly $1 billion was transferred to the Palestinian Authority in direct support to the budget, about a third of it came from the United States, one third from the European Union, and one third from Arab countries, most notably Saudi Arabia.
Washington’s financial support stopped completely in 2018, while Arab support started decreasing in 2020 until it completely stopped in 2021, followed by the cessation of European support.
The US aid was restored a year ago.