No money in the West Bank، no security: World Bank
Friday 19/April/2019 - 07:21 PM
The World Bank is calling for an urgent solution to the Palestinian economic crisis، which it blames in large part on Israel’s withholding of the tax and tariff revenue it collects monthly on behalf of the Palestinian Authority. Transfer of the funding is often withheld by Israel as a punishment for a Palestinian policy or action، thus inflicting a severe blow to the PA’s public finances، as Ynet said. The crisis was detailed in a report that will be submitted to the Coordination of Assistance to the Palestinian People Committee at its next meeting in Brussels on April 30. World Bank acting director Anna Bjerde، who serves as the organization’s Resident Representative in the West Bank and Gaza and director of Strategy and Operations for the Middle East and North Africa، was quoted in the report، explaining the status of the Palestinian economy.
“The economy، which did not see real growth in 2018، now faces a severe fiscal shock،” Bjerde said، “so it’s necessary to find a solution urgently to prevent further deterioration of economic activity and living standards.” In addition، she affirmed that the clearance revenues are a major source of the PA’s public budget income. In that regard، all sectors of the population feel the effects of the crisis.
In July، the Israeli cabinet approved a law that slashes funds to the PA in the amount equivalent to what the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) – the dominant umbrella group that speaks for the Palestinian people – pays to Palestinian security prisoners and the families of those who died in clashes with Israeli soldiers often in an act of violence. In February، Israel deducted some $138 million from the tax revenues it collects on behalf of the PA. The rationale behind the move is to “reduce attacks carried out by Palestinians.” Edited by Ahmed Moamar