Lapid Attempts to Restart Israel-PA Economic Talks
Israel and the Palestinian Authority may restart economic talks, which were cut off in November 2012 in the wake of a terror onslaught from Gaza and the resulting Pillar of Defense operation.
Finance Minister Yair Lapid is scheduled to meet Sunday with his PA counterpart, Shukri Bishara, in his office in Jerusalem. The two will discuss financial matters and the possibility of resuming regular meetings.
Among the issues they are expected to discuss are the import of Israeli goods to PA-controlled areas and vice versa, the PA’s repayment of its debt to the Israel Electric Company, and the transfer of tax money collected by Israel on the PA’s behalf. Israel temporarily froze the transfer of tax funds after the PA sought to declare statehood unilaterally, but has since resumed transfer, due in part to the PA’s ongoing financial crisis.
Lapid’s office, and that of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, have both clarified that the hoped-for economic talks do not indicate progress toward Israel-PA diplomatic talks. Nevertheless, Lapid said he sees great importance in the talks.