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Israel withheld $800m in Palestinian funds since 2019: minister says

September 15, 2023 at 2:29 pm

This picture taken on August 23, 2022 shows a view of the exterior of the headquarters of the Bank of Israel, the country’s central bank, in Kiryat Ben-Gurion in Jerusalem [AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images]

Palestinian Finance Minister Shukri Bishara yesterday stressed the need for the donors’ meeting to produce serious results and work mechanisms that would exert pressure on the Israeli occupation government to release Palestinian funds that have been withheld since 2019, and which currently amount to around $800 million.

Bishara met with Norwegian Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt and her accompanying delegation yesterday and discussed preparations for the upcoming donor meeting, the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) scheduled to be held next week in New York, in conjunction with the United Nations General Assembly.

During the meeting, Bishara discussed ways to strengthen the financial and economic conditions of the Palestinian Authority in view of the continued Israeli deductions in funds transferred to the PA and the decline in external support. He emphasised the necessity of mobilising financial support to enable the government to fulfil its obligations, responsibilities and be sustainable.

Bishara praised the Norwegian government’s supportive stance towards Palestine, its commitment to international law and justice, and the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state.

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