Israel [!] to ask donors to restore financial support for PA

Israeli Regional Cooperation Minister Issawi Frej (Emmanuel Dunand - AFP)

Middle East Monitor  /  November 15, 2021

Israel’s Regional Cooperation Minister will ask donor countries to restore financial support for the Palestinian Authority, Israeli media reported on Sunday. Issawi Frej is expected to make the request at the UN’s Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHCL) meeting planned to be held in Oslo on Wednesday, which he will attend along with PA officials.

Last week, the World Bank said that donations to the PA have dropped by 95 per cent over the past 13 years. The international community donated $1.2 billion to the PA in 2008, while donations are only expected to reach $184 million this year.

According to The Jerusalem Post, Frej will meet PA Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh in Oslo. It noted that the AHCL is one of the few international forums where PA and Israeli officials meet cooperatively.

The UN and World Bank have warned that the PA is facing an acute financial crisis. The situation is such that it could be unable to pay its employees’ salaries by the end of this year.

Last week, the Office of the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process called for the 1994 Paris Protocol, which governs economic and trade relations between the PA and Israel, to be updated. “UNSCO has argued consistently that the Palestinians must re-envision their economic and administrative relationship going forward,” said officials.

Israel is expected to make several offers to ease the PA’s budget deficit. It will also propose a change to the Paris Protocol.