Photo Credit: Emil Salman/POOL
Israeli Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu) on Thursday decided to transfer to the Palestinian Authority half a billion shekels (roughly $128 million) in tax and customs Israel has collected for the PA and delayed its transfer for a variety of reasons, including a staggering debt the PA has accumulated for utilities, which are being paid by the Israeli taxpayer. But, apparently, the situation in the PA controlled parts of Judea and Samaria has grown near-catastrophic, and Kahlon decided to apply the kind of generosity for PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas no Israeli citizen ever receives. Israel will also reduce the commission it charges the PA for serving as its tax collector and lender.

In addition, Kahlon and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon have decided to issue thousands of new work permits to workers who reside in the PA. So, cover up well, Israeli civilians, the folks with the knives and scissors are coming in Sunday.

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“Peace hasn’t broken out,” Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon told Yediot Aharonot Thursday night, adding, “It’s only a drop in the bucket — but it’s a crucial drop.”

Both Kahlon and Ya’alon are convinced, ostensibly based on Israeli intelligence, that the only way to calm the recent wave of terror is by improving the economic malaise over at the PA and introducing hope — supposedly because fully employed Arabs won’t go out with knives to kill Jews. The problem with this notion is that several Arab surveys have shown that the kids with the knives usually come from middle class homes, and they often leave their suicide notes on their brand new laptops and iPads.

Palestinian Finance and Planning Minister Shukri Bishara met with Kahlon a week ago Thursday and warned him that the PA is on the brink of economic collapse, with a deficit of NIS 1.5 billion ($380 million). The amount transferred by Israel should be enough to cover about a thirst of the deficit and pay teachers—who have been striking, as well as suppliers.

Apparently, Prime Minister Netanyahu does not object to the emergency aid to the PA, but has opted not to endorse it publicly, so it’s on Kahlon’s and Ya’alon’s record if it fails but Netanyahu could later claim it as his own should it succeed. For his part, Kahlon reiterated that this does not constitute a political move but merely a stopgap measure. He also emphasized that the money actually belongs to the PA, and that he expects the other side to express its gratitude by ceasing those incitement broadcasts, and that Abbas condemn the terror and “change the atmosphere.”

Good luck waiting for that one, bring a comfortable chair.

According to Yediot, there has been one change this week in the tone of the conversation between official Israel and the official PA: last Sunday Minister Bishara sent Kahlon an unusually friendly letter, especially these days, on official PA paper, saying (text translated from Hebrew), “I wish to express my deep appreciation following our meeting last Thursday. I hope that in our talks I was able to explain to you the seriousness of the financial challenges we must deal with, and as a result the need to find satisfactory solutions to the issues with which we dealt.”

Bishara continued: “I came out of our meeting with a feeling that thanks to your leadership and understanding we have reached a positive turning point and prepared the path for new beginnings in trade relations between Israel and ourselves. Even though the arrangements to which you consented are still far from what is needed for a global solution, I believe that they constitute a positive and welcome step forward.”

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.

45 COMMENTS

  1. And in the palaces of PA officials. Meanwhile, many PA towns don’t even have running water or sewage systems. But it doesn’t matter how much corruption there is in the PA, Israel nor anybody else will call them out on it and continue to give them more money.

    It’s simply because this is the easiest option for Bibi etc. The Americans and EU constantly hound them otherwise and it seem Bibi never can take pressure. So it continues…

  2. Someone must be profiting on the side from this exchange. Time for a financial investigation? otherwise, the PA collapsing is a good thing and the PA Arabs will kill each other. Everyone knows their economic situation has nothing to do with the stabbings and terror…

  3. So what if the PA goes broke. Let them turn to their Arab benefactors who make pledges, but don't deliver. Only, the "" Jew's expend the funds. If their teachers don't get paid, then the children won't learn hatred of non muslims. When Moshe and Anat, don't pay the electric or water, they lose the use.

  4. Hey, why not just give them guns… lets see Gaza, Oslo, ……free electricity…
    lets prepare for the chest beating speech, empty suits followed by meaningless words.
    The Rebbe was correct, Kahane was correct.
    Self inflicted blindness.
    Tell us how many pints of Jewish blood is required to feed the PC world.

    Spineless little boys

    Sick Sick

  5. Let the PA collapse! The fiction that Israel is better off with the PA than whoever might replace is rediculous. The PA, under its current leadership is too weak to make peace even if it wanted to, a big IF. It is time for new elections. Abbas is in the eleventh year of a four year term. If Hamas wins the election, the lines will be clearly drawn. There will be no peace accord. Of course, with the weak Abbas government, there will be no peace accord but somehow Obama and the Europeans don't understand that.

  6. The stupidity of the government is unbelievable.
    Rewarding the PA for promoting terrorism !!
    Every victim of an attack should be paid $100,000 and every family of a deceased victim should be paid $200,000 out of the funds due to the PA.
    And, has the PA settled its outstanding account for electricity ?
    If not, why has this debt not been settled out of these funds?

  7. How much of it is earmarked to the families of the terrorists that: murdered Jews,
    caused damage,
    expense of the wounded and murdered Jews at the murder sight,
    hospital bills of Palestinians like abbas's family and their frequent surgeries in Israeli hospitals;
    increased securioty costs?

  8. Dear Moshe Kahlon, please do not work against God, who brought this on them, the same as 10 Mokot God inflicted on Egypt to let our people go. Please reverse on this mistaken desicion. How many more innocent Israelis will have to be killed by our enemies before you realize to let God do the work!!!!

  9. This is BS. This will never let the Palestinians negotiate with Israel no matter what Israel does or give to them. Israel is still going to be attacked by the people who are going to look to kill Israelis. They will keep doing it again and again no matter what Israel is going to give to the PA. When is Israel going to wake up?

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