Fayyad: Palestinian Authority Will Soon Become Completely Incapacitated by Israel

Palestinian PM meets with Norway FM, who says Israel's withholding of tax funds from PA amounts to 'waterboarding an economy'; Fayyad: This is our money.

Reuters
Reuters
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Reuters
Reuters

The Palestinian Authority is "fast approaching the point of being completely incapacitated" by Israel's refusal to hand over tax revenues belonging to the authority, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said Thursday.

Israel's freeze on the taxes and fees it collects for the Palestinian Authority at borders has deprived the government of two-thirds of its normal revenue since Nov. 1, making it hard to pay salaries and fix infrastructure, Fayyad said.

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.Credit: AP

"This is our money," he said. "It has nothing to do with donor assistance or anything like that."

He spoke at a press conference alongside Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere, who demanded an end to the policy that Israel imposed a day after the UN cultural agency UNESCO granted full membership to the Palestinians.

"It amounts to waterboarding an economy," Stoere said, "because you almost kill it while allowing a small amount of air to come in."

Israel has called the withholding of funds temporary and complained the Palestinians were unwilling to open direct peace talks, while Palestinian leaders have said they would talk only if Israel halts settlement activity in areas it occupies.

Fayyad said the frozen funds amount to some $100 million per month, or two-thirds of the Palestinian Authority's revenue stream excluding international aid.

He spoke shortly after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met in Cairo with Khaled Meshaal, exiled leader of the radical Hamas movement, which rules the Gaza Strip.

Fayyad reiterated that he was willing to step down if it would help heal divisions between the rival factions and pave the way for presidential and parliamentary elections. Hamas has rejected him as head of a joint government.

Norway chairs a committee of aid donors to the Palestinian Authority, including the United States, Israel and the European Union.

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Soldiers using warfare devices made by the Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems.

Russia-Ukraine War Catapults Israeli Arms Industry to Global Stage

Flame and smoke rise during an Israeli air strike, amid Israel-Gaza fighting, in Gaza City August 6, 2022.

Israel Should End Gaza Operation Now, if It Can

Rio. Not all Jewish men wear black hats.

What Does a Jew Look Like? The Brits Don't Seem to Know

Karolina Bielowka.

'My Uncle Told Me, ‘Go on the Trip of Your Life, Go Dig in Israel.’ So I Did'

The replica ship, 'Ma’agan Mikhael II,' sailing from Haifa to Acre in northern Israel.

Replica of 2,400-year-old Ship Solves Ancient Mediterranean Mystery

File photo: Bus operated by Kavim company.

Ultra-Orthodox Extremists Assault Woman for Sitting at Front of Jerusalem Bus