Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh speaking at the teachers conference, (wAFA Images)
RAMALLAH, Thursday, August 22, 2019 (WAFA) – Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said today that his government is going to pay its 160,000 employees 60% of their August salary plus the 50% that remained unpaid from last February salary when the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) financial crisis started after Israel’s cut of millions of dollars from the PA’s tax funds.
The decision shows an improvement in the PA’s financial situation after months of crisis after Israel started in February to deduct millions of dollars from the tax revenues it collects on the PA’s behalf prompting the PA to refuse to accept the remaining revenues. As a result, the PA was unable to meet its financial obligations, particularly payment of salaries to its employees, and has been paying only 50% of the salary since then.
Shtayyeh said at a conference for Palestinian teachers in Ramallah that the financial crisis resulting from the Israeli withholding of the Palestinian revenues still exists, “but we have reached understandings on the fuel tax with Israel, which means that we will start importing fuel without this tax.”
He continued: "We are going to a new strategy. This government is a key component in the national project, and therefore we began the strategy of gradual disengagement from the colonial relationship with the occupation. We stopped medical transfers to Israel and strengthened our relationship with Jordan and Iraq. We will import oil from Iraq because the monthly bill for Palestinian fuel is 650 million Israeli shekels ($185 million). We consume 3 million liters (of fuel) per day. If we find an alternative we will break away from the occupation.”