General view of the Arab League delegates meeting, Egypt, December 5 -2017 - REUTERS
CAIRO - 23 June 2019: The Arab finance ministers pledged on Sunday their commitment to the resolution of the Arab League on the activation of a financial safety network that secures a total of $100 million for the Palestinian Authority (PA)’s budget per month.
The financial contributions of the Arab states can be made through the Arab League’s general secretariat or directly to the Palestinian Finance Ministry.
In the closing statement of the emergency meeting chaired by Tunisia, the ministers affirmed full Arab support to the political, economic, and financial rights of the Palestinian state and its independence.
The ministers also condemned the “Israeli piracy” of the Palestinian people’s wealth, calling for the international community to force the Israeli government to stop such “piracy practices” and fully return the Palestinian money.
The ministers called upon member states to offer soft loans through the social safety network and provide funding for infrastructure and development projects. They also proposed that Arab banks, financial institutions, and funds contribute to the network by offering soft loans to Palestine.
The ministers stressed the importance of coordination between Arab governmental and non-governmental institutions on the one hand, and Palestinian governmental and non-governmental institutions on the other hand.
The meeting that took place on Sunday was held upon a resolution issued by the Foreign Ministers Emergency Meeting attended by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on April 21. The financial safety network that provides $100 million to the Palestinian Authority monthly was a resolution by the Arab Summit held in March.
Israel has been collecting taxes from Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in accordance with certain agreements. However, Israel has been withholding some amounts due to the PA.
As reported by Reuters, Israel collects around 700 million shekels ($193 million) and transfers around 600 million shekels ($166.7 million) to the PA after the deduction of the fares of electricity, water, sewage and medical treatment services. On the other hand, the PA receives $222 million per month.
However, Israel announced in February that it would hold 5 percent of the amount paid in an attempt to deter the PA from paying stipends to the families of Palestinians who die or get injured in confrontations with Israel.
Secretary General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit highlighted that the Palestinian budget deficit has hit 70 percent, which is equivalent to $700 million.
CAIRO - 23 June 2019: Palestinian Finance Minister Shoukry Bishara urged on Sunday activating a 100-million-dollar financial safety net called for by the April meeting of the Arab League council. He warned that the Palestinian economy is in great danger given the Israeli sanctions.
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