Israeli Security Cabinet votes to save Palestinian Authority from bankruptcy

The economic and defense package comes amid the deteriorating security situation in the West Bank


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads a cabinet meeting on the state budget, at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on June 11, 2023. Photo by Alex Kolomoisky/POOL***POOL PICTURE, EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES, PLEASE CREDIT THE PHOTOGRAPHER AS WRITTEN - ALEX KOLOMOISKY/POOL*** *** Local Caption *** éùéáú îîùìä øàù äîîùìä ðúðéäå îùøã øàù äîîùìä

(JNS) Israel's Security Cabinet on Sunday voted in favor of a series of economic and defense measures to boost the Palestinian Authority.

Eight members voted yes in adopting the draft decision submitted by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with one voting against and one abstention.

"In the absence of a change in the national assessment, Israel will act to prevent the collapse of the Palestinian Authority, while demanding that it cease its anti-Israel activity in the international legal-diplomatic arena, the incitement in its media and education system, the payments to the families of terrorists and murderers, and the illegal construction in Area C,” the Security Cabinet said in a statement following the vote.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who also serves as a minister in the Defense Ministry, vocally opposed the assistance package, which comes amid the deteriorating security situation in the West Bank.

Before the vote, Ben-Gvir called the proposal “delusional,” and a “shameful decision to grant concessions and benefits to the Palestinian Authority.”

“There is no greater absurdity than the fact that a body that encourages terrorism, pays salaries to terrorists and their families, encourages in the education system incitement in favor of the murder of Jews, takes over territories in Judea and Samaria, will win a basket of rewards from the Israeli government in the midst of a wave of terrorism,” he said.

According to the Israeli government, the P.A. spends between 600 million and 650 million shekels (£125 million to £135 million) each year on stipends for terrorists. Some estimates put that number as high as 1 billion shekels (£209 million). The Israeli government collects 600 million to 800 million shekels (£125 million to £180 million) annually for the P.A., accounting for 65% to 70% of its revenue, not counting foreign aid.

Recent Palestinian polling shows that 87-year-old P.A. chairman Mahmoud Abbas is deeply unpopular, with increasing support for armed terrorist groups. 

In an interview with CNN on Sunday, U.S. President Joe Biden warned that the P.A. “has lost its credibility, not necessarily because of what Israel’s done, just because it’s just lost its credibility, number one, and, number two, created a vacuum for extremism.”

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive