Defense Secretary Benny Gantz says Israel is offering the Palestinian Authority a 500 million shekels ($ 155 million) loan to prevent its collapse.
This arrangement allows the Israeli government to effectively circumvent a law passed in 2018 that requires it to offset payments the PA makes to Palestinians, wounded, imprisoned or killed by Israel, including recognized terrorists, by forfeiting the same amount from tax revenues. Palestine, which Israel is collecting.
A loan of half a billion shekels that Israel gives to the Palestinian will be paid out of these confiscated funds.
Gantz’s announcement came after a meeting he had the previous evening with PA President Mahmoud Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen. It was the first such meeting between senior Israeli and Palestinian officials in nearly a decade.
“I told Abu Mazen that we would not go anywhere and that the Palestinians would not go anywhere. I came to the meeting to build confidence and preserve the interests of the State of Israel and the important ties that we have with the Palestinian Authority, which I believe we need to strengthen, ”says Gantz.
“As the Palestinian Authority gets stronger, Hamas gets weaker, and as long as it has stronger governance we will have more security and less action,” he adds.
The Defense Minister says Israel also recognizes the status of thousands of Palestinians currently living in the West Bank without proper papers, most of whom have come from the Gaza Strip or from abroad without proper permits for many years. According to his office, this will only apply to adults and will be carried out in accordance with the relevant security protocols.
Israel is also digitizing many of its permit applications for Palestinians to make the process easier and cheaper and easier, Gantz said.
Another 16,000 Palestinians will also be allowed to work in Israel, 1,000 of them specifically in tourism, and Israel will also approve construction in Zone C in the West Bank, which is under full Israeli security control, he said.