Skip to main content

Israel hampering Palestinian economy at its own risk

Under the policies of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Donald Trump, the Palestinian economy, which was supposed to grow and bolster peace and security in the process, has become a source of utter despair for Palestinians.
A demonstrator stands on tires in front of Israeli forces during a protest to show solidarity with Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails, near the Jewish settlement of Beit El in the Israeli-occupied West Bank October 1, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman - RC1E64FD2C50
Read in 

First, the good news. Israel is about to transfer NIS1.8 billion ($515 million) to the Palestinian Authority (PA), part of the duties and taxes it has collected for the Palestinians. The two sides hope this will end the crisis stemming from Israel’s decision this past February to withhold some of those funds in a bid to prevent the PA from disbursing regular stipends to Palestinian inmates jailed in Israel and to their families and to former prisoners.

Until now, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had refused to accept any of the funds, insisting that Israel transfer all the money due to the PA or none at all. The bad news is that the fund transfer is like prescribing an aspirin to cure a cancer patient. Israel freezing the tax revenues is only one cause, and not the chief one, of the severe chronic illness afflicting the Palestinian economy.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.