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What's behind Israel's call for 'economic peace'?

The "economic peace" proposed by Israel to the Palestinians resembles more economic colonialism than economic ties between equal partners.

Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, the Israeli military chief of staff, gave the Israeli Cabinet a periodic security briefing Feb. 21. According to press reports, Eizenkot expressed concern over the deteriorating political situation within the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the continuation, for six months by now, of almost daily terror attacks by individual Palestinians. He recommended to the Cabinet that the economic situation in the West Bank be ameliorated, primarily by allowing a greater number of Palestinians to work in Israel.

Simultaneously, Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon met in recent weeks with Palestinian Minister of Finance and Planning Shukri Bishara and agreed to transfer half a billion Israeli shekels ($127 million) of withheld customs tax to the PA in order to alleviate their enormous budget deficit. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, while reluctant to be personally identified with these policies, supports such moves, as he has already promised the US administration to take economic measures in that direction.

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