Photo Credit: Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90
Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas (left) and P.A. Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh at the swearing-in ceremony of the new government at the P.A.'s headquarters in Ramallah, April 13, 2019.

While Israel is working to improve the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) economy, a move perceived by PA officials as one designed to promote “economic peace” as a means of renewing the diplomatic process, the Palestinian Authority’s prime minister says he seeks to break away from Israel and its economy.

“We strive for a gradual disengagement from the Israeli economy and the improvement of our national product,” PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said Sunday in a meeting with Economy Minister Khalid Asili and senior officials in his office.


“We are in a constant confrontation with the Israeli occupation, which imposes various forms of control on us,” he said, adding that “we, therefore, strive to break away from it through our will and the improvement of the national product.”

Shtayyeh said that “the economy is a means of political pressure and also a means of establishing an independent Palestinian state.”

Since the beginning of its term, the PA government has declared its goal of gradual disengagement from the Israeli economy.

In this context, a PA delegation was sent to Iraq to examine the possibility of importing fuel, another delegation was in Jordan to discuss the possibility of using the port of Aqaba instead of the port of Ashdod, and a third delegation visited Turkey to examine the possibility of using the Turkish health system as an alternative to the Israeli one.

The idea of ​​establishing a Palestinian Authority currency has also been raised in recent years, but all of these initiatives have come under sharp criticism from economists, who have stated that these are merely declarations that cannot be implemented.

It is widely believed among PA economists and officials that a unilateral cancellation of the agreements with Israel will bring disaster to the PA’s economy.


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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.