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Israel finance minister will block efforts to provide financial support to the PA

July 10, 2023 at 9:22 am

Israel’s Finance Minister and leader of the Religious Zionist Party Bezalel Smotrich attends a meeting at the parliament, Knesset, in Jerusalem [GIL COHEN-MAGEN/AFP via Getty Images]

Israeli Minister of Finance, Bezalel Smotrich, said yesterday that he would oppose any steps that aim to strengthen the Palestinian Authority (PA), local media reported.

This came after media reports claimed the Israeli cabinet intends to provide “economic concessions” to the Palestinian Authority (PA), including deduction of debts and facilitating the transfer of tax revenues.

Speaking upon his arrival at the Israeli government meeting, Smotrich said: “We will not provide any facilities for the Palestinians, and there will be no such thing. We reject any steps in this regard.”

“Not a single agora [$0.27] will be transferred to the [Palestinian] Authority, and there will be no debt relief. They will pay everything they owe,” he added.

Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported that Smotrich and National Security Minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, would oppose relief measures proposed by security officials to prevent the Palestinian Authority from collapse.

In a meeting later yesterday, the Cabinet rejected economic concessions that required the approval of the Finance Ministry, such as fuel discounts and debt relief, due to Ben-Gvir’s opposition. However, it is expected that certain concessions that do not require a Cabinet vote will be granted.

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