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Despite deficit of $1 billion, PA says "We are in financial trouble, not a crisis, and we will be able to overcome it"

Headline: “The [PA] minister of finance: The government is suffering from financial trouble and not a crisis, and we will be able to overcome it”

 

 

“[PA] Minister of Finance Shukri Bishara… spoke with financial journalists representing various local media outlets about the financial trouble of the PA and its general treasury…

The minister said: ‘The [PA] government has financial trouble and not a crisis, and we will be able to overcome it,’ but he did not define a specific date for its end…

[He added:] ‘The deficit is estimated at $1 billion, and the international grants cover only $300 million of it. In other words, a gap of $700 million remains.’ He noted that the international aid that was provided to the PA dropped by approximately 70% compared to what it was previously... He also noted that the amount that the occupation authorities are deducting from the Palestinian tax money ‘because of the allowances (mukhassasat) of the prisoners and the like’ (i.e., Israel’s Anti “Pay-for-Slay” Law to deduct PA terror salaries; see note below) constitute half of the overall deficit, which stands at $700 million…

In addition, the minister said: ‘The PA refuses to submit to the pressures and the blackmail attempts in light of the financial blockade and the difficult situation that it is suffering from.’ …

Bishara said that the aid to the state treasury stood at just $186 million out of the $441 million that was expected. This was while the aid in the field of development ‘to fund projects’ stood at $131 million, and thus the deficit dropped from $950 million to $755 million… He noted that last year [2021] the World Bank provided $30 million in aid and France – $18 million, in addition to $15 million that was transferred last year from the European Union (EU) from the remainder of the aid from 2019 that was paid in 2021.”

 

 

 

Israel's Anti "Pay-for-Slay" Law - Israeli law stating that the PA payments to terrorists and the families of dead terrorists is a financial incentive to terror. The law instructs the state to deduct and freeze the amount of money the PA pays in salaries to imprisoned terrorists and families of "Martyrs" from the tax money Israel collects for the PA. Should the PA stop these payments for a full year, the Israeli government would have the option of giving all or part of the frozen money to the PA. The law was enacted by the Israeli Parliament on July 2, 2018. During the parliamentary vote, the law's sponsor Avi Dichter said: “The Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee received much help in its deliberations... from Palestinian Media Watch who provided us with authentic data that enabled productive and professional deliberations, nuances that are very difficult to achieve without precise data.” [Israeli Parliament website, July 2, 2018] In accordance with the law, as of September 2021 Israel’s Security Cabinet had ordered the freeze of 1.857 billion shekels ($580.15 million) - the sum equivalent to the PA payments to terrorists in 2018, 2019, and 2020.