JERUSALEM, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered Tuesday night the transfer of 250 million NIS ( around 63 million U.S. dollars) of Palestinian tax revenues to the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), which is facing a severe financial crisis.
In a press release, the Prime Minister's office said Netanyahu consulted on the issue with Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and his special envoy, Isaac Molho, and coordinated with the Palestinian leadership on the transfer.
Under the terms of the 1993 Oslo accords, import duties levied by the Palestinian National Authority are collected and handed over by Israel, which controls almost all access to the West Bank and Gaza.
In recent days, protests over higher cost of living have taken place in a number of Palestinian cities in the West Bank, including Ramallah, where the PNA is seated. Protesters demanded the resignation of Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and called for abolishing the Oslo accords. They also denounced Israeli occupation as the main cause for Palestinian economic woes.
Earlier on Tuesday, during his meeting with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, Netanyahu said Israel is making efforts to help the PNA deal with its financial woes.
"We are working on several fronts in order to help the Palestinian (National) Authority cope with its economic problems. We have made several changes in the taxation agreements. We are advancing certain transfers," he said.
"Of course, there is a global reality and it is also related to the internal management of every economy, but for our part we are making efforts to help the Palestinian (National) Authority survive this crisis. I hope that they will succeed in doing so; this is in our common interest," he added.
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. Full story