Israel to ask donor countries to restore payments to Palestinians

Israel is ready to ask donor countries to restore their financial contributions to the Palestinian Authority at the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee meeting in Oslo on Wednesday, according to a source from the Ministry of Regional Cooperation.

Those donations have dropped by 85% in the past 13 years, according to a World Bank report released last week before the donor meeting. In 2008, the global community contributed $ 1.2 billion to the Palestinian Authority, which was an all-time high and this year, donor funds are only expected to amount to $ 184 million, the World Bank explained.

Regional Cooperation Minister Esawi Frej (Meretz), who is expected to represent Israel at the meeting, will ask donor countries to restore payments and invest in particular in water and health-related projects, a source told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.

The meeting, which takes place twice a year, is chaired by Norway. It involves representatives from 15 countries and entities, including the Palestinian Authority. The AHCL is one of the few international forums where Palestinian and Israeli officials interact cooperatively.

The meeting comes as the Palestinian Authority is facing an acute financial crisis, with both the World Bank and the United Nations warning that it has an impending deficit of $ 1.36 billion and may not be able to pay its public officials late. of this year.

Regional Cooperation Minister Esawi Frej on his way to a cabinet meeting on November 14, 2021 (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM / POOL)

Frej is expected to urge the Palestinian Authority to take advantage of the economic benefits offered to it through the Abraham Accords, an initiative that it has rejected. This could include the initiative of tourists among the Arab countries of the Palestinian Authority that have normalized ties with Israel, such as the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco.

Israel also plans to introduce a series of initiatives that could add money to the Palestinian Authority’s coffers, including an electronic VAT system, which would facilitate personalized collections. It is estimated that this could save the PA NIS 100 billion shekels per year.

Israel would also consider, for the first time, making changes to the 1994 Paris Protocol governing its financial agreement with the Palestinian Authority, according to a ministry source.

“UNESCO has consistently argued that the Palestinians must rethink their economic and administrative relationship in the future,” he said.



Reference-www.jpost.com

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