Steinitz warns of economic measures against PA

Finance minister says gov't would consider delaying the monthly transfer of tax funds, PA has "betrayed" the peace process with UN move.

September 26, 2011 03:31
2 minute read.
finance minister and World Bank Group managing dir

Steinitz meets with Sri Mulyani Indrawati_311. (photo credit: GPO)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


NEW YORK – Israel will weigh taking economic measures against the Palestinian Authority if it continues to pursue unilateral steps and refuses to return to the negotiating table, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.

He spoke with the Post from a hotel lobby in New York, where Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been staying since his arrival last Wednesday.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

“It is impossible to think that we will continue to help and to cooperate with the Palestinian authorities and the economy like nothing happened,” he said, just two days after PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s speech at the UN asking for unilateral statehood.

Among the measures he would consider, Steinitz said, would be to delay the monthly transfer of tax funds.

Steinitz touts 'sanctions' if PA state bid goes to UN vote
Steinitz threatens to stop PA tax transfers over UN bid

The Palestinian unilateral strategy is to gain a state without ending the conflict and it is a “betrayal” of the peace process, said Steinitz.

“I think it is up to us to think whether we take counter- measures and how to react to such a hostile move,” he added.

In the past, Steinitz said Israel has supported Palestinian state-building measures with the understanding that it is helpful to the process.

“Until now, we cooperated with the PA to help them build their institutes and their economy,” he said.

“Since Netanyahu took power we announced an economic peace approach.”

As a result the Palestinian economy has boomed and the standard of living has improved dramatically, he said. This was under the assumption that Israel and the Palestinians were part of a process that would create two states for two people, he said.

Now if the PA wants to move forward alone, he said, they might find themselves “alone” on the economic front as well.

“It will be very difficult, and even odd, for Israel to cooperate and to help the PA [economically] if they are going against Israel,” he said.

During this trip to the US, he said, he also visited Washington, where he met with a number of senators who spoke of the possibility that America could also cut off assistance to the Palestinians.

“American assistance to the PA is mainly in order to promote peace for both Palestinians and Israelis,” said Steinitz.

“The whole basis of it was [to move forward] bilaterally, not unilaterally.”

Steinitz said he agreed with Abbas’s statement that the Oslo Accords, and in particular the 1994 Paris Protocol that set out the terms of economic agreement between the Palestinians and Israel, should be re-examined.

“The Palestinian behavior is such that we have to reconsider Oslo,” he said.

Click for full JPost coverage

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN