PFLP: Cut Economic Ties to Israel

November 23, 2011  

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine on Wednesday urged the Palestinian Authority to reconsider economic ties with Israel.

In a statement, deputy PFLP secretary-general Abdul-Rahim Mallouh called on the PA to assign a specialized committee to analyze economic relations and protect the economy from subordination to Israel.

Mallouh urged Palestinians to boycott Israeli products – In particular settlement produce. 

Israel “keeps confiscating Palestinian land, stealing water and systematically destroying Palestinian national production in addition to the ongoing blockades, closures, restrictions and checkpoints which prevent the development of the Palestinian national economy,” he claimed.

The PFLP leader’s remarks coincide with increasing fiscal insolvency in Ramallah due to a cessation of tax revenue transfers from Israel to PA coffers that began a day after UNESCO voted to admit the PA as a full member state. 

The funds – amounting to $100 million monthly – are vital to the payment of civil servants’ salaries. PA officials claim Israel is violating bilateral agreements by freezing tax revenues.

However, Israeli officials note that all economic cooperation between Jerusalem and Ramallah is dependent on adherence to accords that specifically proscribe unilateral moves.

PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ application for recognition of statehood in the United Nations Security Council in September – and his bid to join UNESCO and some 17 other UN organizations- is a flagrant violation of those accords, they say.

PA officials suspended their bid to join more UN organizations after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon withdrew his support for their statehood bid.

Ki-moon’s reversal came in the face of US officials promising to freeze funds to any UN apparatus that inducted the PA as a member state – as it did with UNESCO. The United States underwrites roughly 22% of the UN budget – and 27% of its peace keeping operations

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday rejected a request by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to resume tax revenue transfers to the PA. Sources close to Israel’s cabinet say Israel will not release PA tax revenues until officials in Ramallah renounce their unilateral track and return to the negotiating table.

Observers say the PFLP terror organizations calls for Ramallah to cut economic ties with Jerusalem are unlikely to be heeded due to the PA’s cash-starved state.

Senior economic officials in Ramallah have warned – should aid funds be cut or economic cooperation with Israel be stopped – the PA would likely collapse. 

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