Israel, Palestinian Authority Sign Bilateral Trade Agreements

Agreements were thrashed out in a series of secret meetings that lasted more than a year and had many ups and downs.

Moti Bassok
Moti Bassok
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Moti Bassok
Moti Bassok

Israel and the Palestinian Authority signed agreements on Tuesday to regulate bilateral trade and taxation.

The agreements were thrashed out in a series of secret meetings that lasted more than a year and had many ups and downs. Israeli sources said they also have diplomatic ramifications.

The agreements, signed by Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, are meant to facilitate implementation of existing economic agreements, particularly the 1994 Paris Protocol, in order to expand bilateral trade and combat smuggling and tax evasion. They will also upgrade the PA's tax collection infrastructure, thereby increasing its revenues.

The agreements state that with regard to value-added tax, purchase tax and customs duties, Israel and the PA will settle their accounts on the basis of actual transactions rather than reported transactions, as was the case previously.

This will require them to improve their sharing of data.

Additionally, advanced technologies will be employed to facilitate and monitor trade, including setting up special warehouses in the PA and building a pipeline to enable the safe transfer of fuel from Israel to the Palestinians.

The agreements will take effect on January 1, 2013. Implementation will be monitored by a team of experts from both sides, to be set up in the coming days.

Steinitz termed the agreements an important step to bolster economic ties between Israel and the PA.

Fayyad said the agreements will strengthen the PA's economic foundations and further economic ties between Israel and the PA. He thanked both Steinitz and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the effort they invested in concluding the deal.

Netanyahu said the agreements furthered his overall policy of trying to strengthen the Palestinians' economy and civil society, and hoped they would lead to progress on other fronts as well.

Then Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in his office.Credit: Daniel Bar-On
Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz.Credit: Yossi Zamir



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN


The Orion nebula, photographed in 2009 by the Spitzer Telescope.

What if the Big Bang Never Actually Happened?

בן גוריון

'Strangers in My House': Letters Expelled Palestinian Sent Ben-Gurion in 1948, Revealed


AIPAC vs. American Jews: The Toxic Victories of the 'pro-Israel' Lobby

Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic speaks during a press conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia in May.

‘This Is Crazy’: Israeli Embassy Memo Stirs Political Storm in the Balkans

Hamas militants take part in a military parade in Gaza.

Israel Rewards Hamas for Its Restraint During Gaza Op

Palestinians search through the rubble of a building in which Khaled Mansour, a top Islamic Jihad militant was killed following an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, southern Gaza strip, on Sunday.

Gazans Are Tired of Pointless Wars and Destruction, and Hamas Listens to Them