Israel Helps PA while Arab Nations Drop Support
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
Israel is helping the slowing Palestinian Authority economy even as Arab nations ignore pledges, and the PA’s financial stability is questionable, according to an Israeli government report to the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) in Brussels.
The summary comes at the same time that the International Monetary Fund reported that the PA economy is in a “difficult phase” due to a drop in aid. Arab nations have failed to meet pledges of billions of dollars in assistance.
It also blamed Israeli restrictions on trade as a factor that harms the economy, but the Israeli government report noted, “In 2011, Israel continued to implement its policy of support for economic…by removing additional check points [and] upgrading commercial crossings."
Israel also increased the number of permits for Arab employment in Israel and pushed forward an agreement to build four electricity substations in Judea and Samaria to increase the amount of electricity available for further economic development
Economic growth in the Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria slowed to a 5.8 percent growth rate during the first nine months of 2011 while growth in Hamas-controlled Gaza soared by 25.8 percent.
Israeli purchases from the Palestinian Authority increased by 2.1 percent compared with 2010 while Israeli sales dropped by 1.1 percent.
In addition, there was a 33 percent increase last year in commercial goods shipped via the Allenby Bridge to and from Jordan.