Palestine’s finance minister warns financial situation is likely to further deteriorate unless Israel releases tax funds

Ramallah/PNN/

Finance Minister Shukri Bishara warned that the Palestinian Authority (PA)’s financial situation is likely to further deteriorate during the coming period unless Israel releases the withheld Palestinian tax funds.

During a meeting with representatives of donor countries, Bishara reviewed the government’s financial situation, and the pressures exerted by the Israeli government, including the withholding and illegal deductions from the Palestinian clearing funds.

According to a statement issued by the ministry, Bishara informed representatives of the international community that the Palestinian government has exhausted all available financing options, adding that borrowing from banks is no longer an option due to technical and realistic reasons.

He stressed that the financial situation will become more complicated if Israel doesn’t release the withheld Palestinian tax funds in the coming weeks.

The minister stressed the need to reform the financial relationship with the Israeli side and the clearing mechanism, which he said has become a tool for the continuation of the occupation.

He urged the international community to make all necessary diplomatic efforts to urge the Israeli side to respond to the PA demands and called for the return of foreign support to what it was before 2018, at least for a bridging period.

The minister urged the donor countries to restore their aid to the Palestinian treasury as it was in 2018, explaining that this aid has decreased by 90% this year compared to 2020.

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