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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Israel provides PA with $114 millions

The support is deemed crucial for sustaining the Western-supported entity.


The Palestinian Authority has recently received a sum of 407 million shekels ($114 million) from Israel, with additional funds slated for delivery in the near future, according to an announcement by the Norwegian government on Thursday. This allocation comes following an agreement to release previously frozen tax revenues.

Norway disclosed on February 18 its commitment to facilitating the transfer of funds designated for the Palestinian Authority (PA), which were originally collected by Israel. The support is deemed crucial for sustaining the Western-supported entity.

Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere emphasized the essential nature of this financial assistance, stating, “This funding is imperative to prevent the collapse of the Palestinian Authority, ensuring the provision of vital services to Palestinians and the payment of salaries to educators and healthcare professionals.”

Stoere also mentioned the anticipation of further transfers “in the coming days,” although precise details regarding timing and amounts were not specified.

The Palestinian Authority administers limited self-governance in the West Bank, which is occupied by Israel. As per interim peace agreements from the 1990s, Israel’s finance ministry is responsible for tax collection on behalf of Palestinians, making monthly transfers to the PA. However, a dispute arose following an attack by Hamas from Gaza on October 7.

Israeli strikes continued 

Israel collects taxes on goods entering Palestinian territories through its territory, deducting a 3% commission before remitting the remainder to the PA. With control over all Palestinian territory borders except the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza, Israel has a significant influence over these financial transactions.

Under the agreed-upon resolution, Norway serves as an intermediary, retaining tax revenue equivalent to the estimated Gaza portion, while the remaining funds are forwarded to the PA. Additionally, Oslo has received its allocated portion of the funds, which it holds on behalf of the PA. However, the precise value of this allocation was not disclosed in the Norwegian government’s statement.

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The targeting of unarmed Palestinians collecting aid in Gaza by Israeli forces has been widely condemned by Palestinian leaders and neighboring countries. Reports of Israeli forces firing upon individuals receiving aid southwest of Gaza City have led to accusations of an “ugly massacre” by the Palestinian Authority’s President Mahmoud Abbas.

 This crisis unfolds amidst looming threats of an Israeli military invasion of Rafah, further imperiling the lives of the 1.5 million people sheltering in the enclave, many of whom were displaced by the ongoing conflict.