JERUSALEM, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said Monday that his country would not agree to review a set of Oslo-era financial agreements with the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) due to major energy-transfer debts to Israeli entities.
"There is no room to fix it when there is no progress in the political channel, and the Palestinians have huge debts to Israel for transferring gas and electricity, for example," Ayalon said.
PNA officials are calling for amending or canceling the so-called Paris Protocols, which regulate economic relations between the two sides, including collection of customs and VAT revenues at air and seaports, and border crossings, charging that they hamstring development of the Palestinian economy.
However, speaking with Israel Radio, Ayalon said "I don' t support opening the economic treaty to re-negotiation, as it is interconnected with the diplomatic ones, which as we know have not been signed because of the Palestinians."
Ayalon also pointed to a number of hostile moves by the PNA against Israel in international fora as a disincentive to reopening the accord.
Following a week of rallies in a number of Palestinian cities, angry Palestinians demonstrated Sunday in the streets of Ramallah and Nablus against sharp prices rises in fuel and foodstuffs, and called on PNA President Mahmoud AbbasAbbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to resign.
In recent days, two despairing Palestinians have set themselves alight in protest over their socioeconomic plight, similar to a series of immolations in Israel in recent months over similar issues.
On Saturday, however, Abbas said "We have no money," blaming donor countries, including the United States and Arab nations, for not providing promised aid to cover salaries of thousands of PNA employees.