Cornered, Palestinians bank on Joe Biden to restore status quo with Israel

A Palestinian reads the newspaper

As Mike Pompeo slammed the Palestinians on Thursday, November 19 by visiting an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank, another meeting was coming to an end not far from there. Funny coincidence, but the Palestinian Authority (PA) had no choice. “Today I held a rally with the Israelis, Palestinian Minister of Civil Affairs Hussein Al-Sheikh posted on Twitter. It was agreed to transfer all levies to the Palestinian Authority. “ The Israelis will therefore pay back hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes and customs duties that the Jewish state collects every month on behalf of the Palestinians, the latter not having control of their borders.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also In Israel, Mike Pompeo endorses the legacy of the Trump presidency

Since May, to protest against threats of annexation of part of the West Bank occupied by Israel, Ramallah had cut off all cooperation with the Israelis, also refusing to recover this money, which is rightfully his. The sacrifice was not trivial: Ramallah struggled, since, to pay the salaries of civil servants, these taxes and customs duties representing more than 60% of its budget.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also West Bank: for settlers of Gush Etzion, “annexation will not change anything”

Officially, Palestinian officials agreed to resume cooperation after receiving guarantees that Israel would respect the signed agreements. “For us, this is an important step in the right direction”, Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh commented, brandishing the letter sent by the Israelis in a video interview.

Give pledges to Washington

The Palestinian Authority intends above all to give pledges of its goodwill to Joe Biden, in the hope of reconnecting with Washington, after four disastrous years of Trump’s presidency. Palestinian officials also said they would send their ambassadors to the UAE and Bahrain, after calling them back for consultation when the two Gulf monarchies announced normalization agreements with Israel.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Palestinians feel humiliated by Trump’s Middle East plan

“The Palestinian Authority was looking for a pretext. She had no choice, without the income from taxes and customs duties, she would not have been able to continue ”, comments Nasser Abdel-Karim, professor of economics at the Arab American University of Jenin, in the West Bank. He finds that the political gains since May are “Void” for Ramallah. “The existence of the Palestinian Authority depends on maintaining a certain status quo, and the election of Joe Biden gives the necessary breath to return to the status quo before”, thus preventing Palestinian officials from committing to real democratic elections, adds Inès Abdel Razek, director of advocacy at the Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy.

You have 21.34% of this article to read. The rest is for subscribers only.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here