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PA denies Israel offered economic measures to prevent its collapse

October 3, 2023 at 1:02 pm

Palestinian Minister of Finance and Planning, Shukri Bishara, 22 June 2017 [Utenriksdepartementet UD/Flickr]

The Palestinian Authority denied on Monday reports in the Hebrew-language media that the Israeli government has offered economic incentives and financial aid to prevent its collapse.

“Contrary to what was reported in the Israeli press, the current Israeli government has doubled its illegal unilateral deductions from Palestinian taxpayer funds in an unprecedented way,” explained Louay Hanash, a senior official at the ministry of finance in Ramallah. He pointed out that the deductions were equivalent to 25 per cent of the PA’s revenues from taxes collected by Israel on behalf of the authority. The occupation state did not give reasons for this.

Moreover, he said that Israel deducts three per cent of the clearing funds as a collection commission, the monthly average of which exceeds NIS 35 million ($9.1m).

According to Hanash, Finance Minister Shukri Bishara has called for a reduction in the collection commission that Israel generally charges on all other goods, so that it is based on the cost. In one report, the World Bank estimated that it should not exceed 0.6 per cent. “This reflects the extent of the Israeli theft in relation to this issue alone,” said the PA official.

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He explained that the Israeli occupation authorities deduct what they claim are payments which encourage Palestinians to carry out attacks on the apartheid state. In fact, the PA provides social security-style payments to Palestinian families affected directly by the Israeli occupation, as well as the families of the martyrs, prisoners and wounded.

In addition to its monthly deductions that have been ongoing for many years in violation of all agreements, the apartheid state has recently added a monthly deduction at the rate of NIS20-30 million to cover debts due to the Israel Electricity Company.

Hanash stressed that these deductions demonstrate clearly that the occupation is responsible for the stifling financial crisis from which the PA is suffering, and the main obstacle to the development of the Palestinian economy.

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