News / Middle East

Donors Urge Israel to Help Alleviate Palestinian Fiscal Crisis

TEXT SIZE - +
Margaret Besheer
— Donor countries to the Palestinian Authority met Sunday on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly and urged Israel to lift some of its restrictions on economic activity in Palestinian areas in a bid to help alleviate a growing Palestinian financial crisis.

Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide said donor countries are worried about a dire and worsening economic situation in the Palestinian territories, particularly in Area C -- the territory covering 60 percent of the West Bank, where Israel maintains full control under the 1993 Oslo Accords.

“The encouragement to Israel is to continue to lift restrictions on economic activity, and the current state of affairs makes it more difficult for the Palestinian economy to grow at the pace that we saw a few years ago," said Eide. "That also confirms this main message that institution building has been a success, but economic development is held back by activities in Area C.”

Last week, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund issued a report that says the Palestinian financial crisis will continue to worsen unless foreign funding increases and Israel eases restrictions on economic activity.  The two agencies say the Palestinian Authority faces a shortfall of about $400 million this year.

Palestinian Finance Minister Nabil Kassis told reporters Sunday that donor countries have some $300 million in promised pledges still unpaid.  He warned that a two-state solution - Israel and an independent Palestinian state living peacefully side-by-side -- could be at risk if the Palestinian Authority fiscal situation continues to deteriorate.

“The two-state solution is in jeopardy if the P&A is not able to continue to function and to prepare for the two-state solution,” said Kassis.

The Palestinian Authority has implemented austerity measures that have been met with anger by a frustrated public facing rising fuel and food prices and staggering unemployment.

Finance Minister Kassis would not say how long the Palestinian Authority could continue to operate without additional funds.

Israel’s deputy director-general for economic affairs, Irit Ben-Abba, said her government is very concerned about the situation and that it has taken steps to alleviate it, including releasing about $60 million to the Palestinian Authority last week.  The money is an advance payment of tax revenues.  She said Israel has also arranged for the transfer of goods and allowed projects to be implemented in Area C that will generate more income for the Palestinians.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Michael from: USA
September 24, 2012 9:25 AM
Lack of Palestinian trust, in lieu of a scholarly analysis, has broken the integration held out with great hope at the time of the Oslo Accords


by: Godwin from: Nigeria
September 24, 2012 7:46 AM
Thanks for your concern for PA. We hear you concerned for them, but you don't seem to understand that the people who need help are the Israelis. What suggestion did you make to help the situation out there? Both parties have come to a bottle neck where they cannot help themselves. They must be helped from the outside. It is not hidden fact that there is no love lost between them, and particularly one party refuses to agree to the existence of the other, which all the more makes the solutions so far suggested far from tenable. What we need now are not people who just want two-state solution without proffering how to achieve it; what we need now is someone who can ask all parties to drop their demands whatsoever and accept a two-state settlement without a recourse to future obstructions. Without this, the parties will feud endlessly, and more enemies may be made along the way as countries align and realign along lines of religion, economics and politics.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid