update deskIsrael at War

Yellen demands Israel take actions to support Palestinian economy

“These actions are vital for the economic well-being of Palestinians and Israelis alike,” said the U.S. treasury secretary.

Janet Yellen, then chair of the Federal Reserve, testifies before the House Financial Services Committee on Nov. 4, 2015. Credit: Federal Reserve.
Janet Yellen, then chair of the Federal Reserve, testifies before the House Financial Services Committee on Nov. 4, 2015. Credit: Federal Reserve.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen sent a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with a list of demands for Israel to support the Palestinian economy in Judea and Samaria.

The United States “urged the Israeli government to release clearance revenue to the Palestinian Authority to fund basic services and to bolster the economy in the West Bank,” Yellen said on Tuesday during a press conference in Brazil ahead of a G20 finance meeting.

The statement and letter appear to be the most direct public concerns that Yellen has raised about the state of the Palestinian economy since Oct. 7.

“I also recently outlined in a letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu a number of steps that the United States believes must be taken, including reinstating work permits for Palestinians and reducing barriers to commerce within the West Bank,” she said.

Israel collects so-called “clearance revenue” taxes on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, the P.A.’s main source of income. The P.A. said in November that it would refuse to accept the transferred funds after Israel announced that it was deducting a portion of the revenue intended for Gaza.

Yellen said on Tuesday that a deal had been reached to transfer the funds, which have started to flow.

“These actions are vital for the economic well-being of Palestinians and Israelis alike,” she said.

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