newsIsrael-Palestinian Conflict

Israel adds hundreds of millions of shekels in aid to the Palestinians

Accounting measures, drop in gas tax boost P.A. coffers.

Muslims prepare decorations and sweets to commemorate the birth of the prophet Muhammad, in the Old City (the "Casbah") of Nablus in Samaria, Sept. 26, 2023. Photo by Nasser Ishtayeh /Flash90.
Muslims prepare decorations and sweets to commemorate the birth of the prophet Muhammad, in the Old City (the "Casbah") of Nablus in Samaria, Sept. 26, 2023. Photo by Nasser Ishtayeh /Flash90.

Israel recently slashed the gasoline tax it had been collecting from the Palestinian Authority by 50% as well as taken other measures to ease the financial situation in Ramallah.

The 1994 Protocol on Economic Relations (aka the Paris Protocol) between Israel and the PLO stipulates a 3% rate but Israel has recently decided to collect only 1.5%, as shown in a recent document signed by the Defense Ministry’s Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories office several days ago. This will save some 80 million shekels ($21 million) for the Palestinian Authority on an annual basis. 

Other measures that Israel has taken to help the Palestinians financially since the start of 2023 add up to some 270 million shekels ($71 million). This includes more transfers of taxes collected on behalf of the P.A., amounting to a major increase compared to about half a million shekels only three years ago. This, despite many of the goods ostensibly being sent to the P.A. never making it there because of a fraudulent ploy by importers. 

Other financial measures have totaled some 350 million shekels ($92 million) since the new Netanyahu government was sworn in. 

The Biden administration has been pressuring Israel to increase the aid to the Palestinians’ economy, saying that the P.A. is on the verge of collapse. But the Israeli willingness to play along despite P.A. leader Mahmoud Abbas continuing to pay terrorists has outraged some members of Congress who also say that the president’s increase of aid to the Palestinians violates U.S. law (and specifically the Taylor Force Act (2018), which prohibits funding to the Palestinians so long as the “pay-for-slay” policy continues).

As part of the effort to promote normalization with Saudi Arabia, the U.S. has placed immense pressure on Israel to make it take “steps toward bolstering the P.A.,” which include letting Riyadh send funds to Ramallah. However, there are ways being explored to try to ensure these do not make it to terrorists’ hands.

Originally published by Israel Hayom.

You have read 3 articles this month.
Register to receive full access to JNS.

Just before you scroll on...

Israel is at war.

JNS is combating the stream of misinformation on Israel with real, honest and factual reporting. In order to deliver this in-depth, unbiased coverage of Israel and the Jewish world, we rely on readers like you.

The support you provide allows our journalists to deliver the truth, free from bias and hidden agendas. Can we count on your support?

Every contribution, big or small, helps JNS.org remain a trusted source of news you can rely on.

Become a part of our mission by donating today
Topics
Comments
Thank you. You are a loyal JNS Reader.
You have read more than 10 articles this month.
Please register for full access to continue reading and post comments.
Never miss a thing
Get the best stories faster with JNS breaking news updates