Palestinians, Israel Agree on Revenue Revamp
The Palestinian Authority and Israel agreed on a revamp of revenue collection that may help relieve the Palestinian government’s deepening debt crisis, officials said on Tuesday.
The aid-dependent Palestinian economy in the occupied West Bank is facing a deepening financial crisis due to a drop in aid from Western backers and wealthy Gulf states as well as Israeli restrictions on trade.
An Israeli Finance Ministry statement said the sides agreed on steps that would better facilitate the movement of goods between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and reduce illegal trade and tax evasion, measures that could increase revenue.
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz signed off on the arrangements that will begin to be implemented on January 2013.
“I am certain that the arrangements concluded will help strengthen the economic base of the Palestinian Authority, through bolstering our tax system and increasing revenue from the proper collection of taxes,” the statement quoted Fayyad as saying.