Daily Israel Report

Report: Israel Calls for Continued International Aid to the PA

Israel is urging the international community to continue to provide financial aid to the PA, says a report to be submitted in New York.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 9/16/2011, 10:25 AM

Despite the Palestinian Authority’s upcoming unilateral statehood bid at the United Nations, Israel is urging the international community to continue to provide financial aid to the PA.

A report posted on Thursday on the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s website says that the PA is suffering from a financial crisis.

“The factors fueling the crisis include: the Palestinian budget’s ongoing dependency on foreign aid and the shortfall in aid in 2011; the PA’s inability to finance the shortfall through bank loans; the lack of sufficient internal resources to generate income; and a relatively large public sector which consumes a large portion of the budget,” says the report.

It goes on to say, “The current fiscal situation raises doubts about whether the PA will be able to reduce its dependency on foreign aid in the coming years.”

The report is entitled “Measures taken by Israel in Support of Developing the Palestinian Economy and Socio-Economic Structure” and was prepared for the upcoming meeting of an Ad Hoc Liaison Committee established to coordinate international aid for the purpose of building and strengthening the capabilities and institutions of the Palestinian Authority. It is scheduled to be submitted to the committee in New York on Sunday.

It says that “The Government of Israel views the bilateral track with the Palestinians as the only way to reach a sustainable solution, based on two states for two peoples. The Government of Israel wishes to maintain the existing legal framework, as long as circumstances allow.”

“Israel calls for ongoing international support for the PA budget and development projects that will contribute to the growth of a vibrant private sector, which will provide the PA an expanded base for generating internal revenue,” it goes on to say.

The contents of the report seem surprising, particularly when the PA is intending to go through with its unilateral statehood bid at the United Nations. On Thursday, the entity announced it plans to present its bid on September 23, though the PA’s permanent observer later said that no final decision had yet been made on the issue.

It is unknown whether Israel’s report will have a direct effect on American aid to the PA.

The House of Representatives has already voted 407-6 to pass a non-binding resolution backing the suspension of funds to the PA should it pursue its bid for a unilateral declaration of statehood.

The resolution came a week after the U.S. Senate unanimously approved a similar resolution. A few weeks ago, the PA’s chief negotiator said that he had been warned by a U.S. diplomat that the U.S. would cut aid to the PA if they proceed with their unilateral bid for statehood. The United States later denied this.

The contents of the report, meanwhile, have made the pro-Arab J Street very happy.

A spokesman for the organization, Dylan Williams, told the Reuters news agency following the publication of the report, “The significance of this report is that whatever does or does not happen at the UN, the Israeli government is putting forth just two days before the Palestinians are expected to approach the United Nations, a very compelling and clear case that continued international assistance is not only in the interest of the Palestinian Authority, but in the interests of the Israelis and their security.”

It should be noted that J Street has endorsed terror groups and one of its co-founders has even claimed that Israel’s creation was “an act that was wrong.”

The group has also hidden the fact that it receives hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding from Pro-Palestinian Authority billionaire George Soros, who once said Israeli and American policies fuel anti-Semitism.