The Palestinian Authority has rejected a rescue plan approved Sunday by the Israeli government to shore up its government in Ramallah.
Israeli officials have been expressing concern over the possibility the Palestinian Authority government could collapse, creating a vacuum that could open the door for a takeover by terrorist organizations, as happened in 2007 when the Iranian-backed Hamas terror group seized control over Gaza.
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh refused to stop payments to terrorists and their families, and said his government would continue its fight against Israel in the international diplomatic and legal arena.
The five-point plan to “stabilize the civil situation in the Palestinian arena” was approved at Sunday’s cabinet meeting by eight ministers, with one opposed and one abstention.
The proposed plan included the following:
* creation of a new industrial zone
* development of an underwater natural gas reservoir off the coast of Gaza
* deferral of debt payments by the Palestinian Authority
* extending the opening hours at the Allenby border crossing
* issuance of biometric passports to Palestinian Authority officials.
The Palestinian Authority, however, categorically rejected the conditions set by Israel as part of its rescue plan, according to the Palestinian Authority’s official WAFA news agency.
Speaking at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting held in Ramallah, Shtayyeh said, “What should actually be done is for Israel to stop its aggression against the Palestinian people, the killings, the settlements, and the piracy of Palestinian funds, and to return to a path that will end the occupation based on United Nations resolutions and international law,” according to WAFA.
The conditions opposed by the Ramallah government included a requirement for the Palestinian Authority to “cease its activities against Israel in the international legal-political arena, and from incitement (against Israel) in its media and education systems.”
The Ramallah government would also be required to stop providing payments to terrorists who injure and kill Israelis, and their families in the case of those who die in such attacks.
The PA “pay to slay” policy, seen as a major motivator among some of those who launch such attacks, has long been slammed by Israel and by the United States Congress, which passed the Taylor Force Act years ago to prohibit foreign aid to Ramallah until it ceases such payments.
The Biden Administration has ignored the legislation since entering office.
In addition, the Palestinian Authority would be required to stop building in Area C, the portion of territory in Judea and Samaria controlled entirely by Israel as delineated in the internationally recognized Oslo Accords.