Palestinian Authority freezes bank accounts of Gaza NGOs

Palestinians believe the move is in the context of the PA’s economic sanctions against organizations that are affiliated with Hamas and other Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip.

Mohammad Shtayyeh gestures during a Palestinian leadership meeting in Ramallah, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank February 20, 2019.  (photo credit: MOHAMAD TOROKMAN/REUTERS)
Mohammad Shtayyeh gestures during a Palestinian leadership meeting in Ramallah, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank February 20, 2019.
(photo credit: MOHAMAD TOROKMAN/REUTERS)
The Palestinian Authority government in Ramallah has frozen the bank accounts of dozens of Palestinian non-governmental organizations in the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network (PNGO) revealed on Monday.
Palestinians believe the move is in the context of the PA’s economic sanctions against organizations that are affiliated with Hamas and other Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip.
“The Palestinian NGO Network expresses its deep concern over the continued freezing of the accounts of NGOs in the Gaza Strip by the [PA] Ministry of Interior in Ramallah and warns of the repercussions of these measures,” PNGO, an umbrella organization for civil society organizations, said.
According to PNGO, it has received many complaints from NGOs in the Gaza Strip about the freezing of their bank accounts, “which threatens the services they provide and undermines their role in enhancing the steadfastness of Palestinians.”
The organization also pointed out that some banks operating in the Gaza Strip have refused to open accounts for newly registered NGOs although they had obtained licenses from the PA Ministry of the Interior in Ramallah.
PNGO called on PA Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh to reconsider the measures taken by his government that “undermine the work of civil society organizations.”
It urged Shtayyeh to lift restrictions imposed on the bank accounts of NGOs, facilitate their work and devise a comprehensive plan to protect the Palestinians’ right to form civil society organizations.
PNGO said that while it is not opposed to any measures to ensure transparency and accountability and the development of the performance of NGOs, it nevertheless calls on the president of the Palestinian Monetary Authority to put pressure on the banks to allow new NGOs to open bank accounts in accordance with the law.


Tags NGO