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Palestinians ask Israel to amend economic agreement

Sunday September 09, 2012 07:40:54 PM, IANS

Ramallah: The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) has officially asked Israel Sunday to amend a 1994 agreement regulating economic relations between the two sides.

The request to review the Paris Protocol came after Palestinians took to the streets in protest against the rising cost of living in the West Bank, reported Xinhua.

"The agreement has a 5-year validity period, but Israel keeps applying its articles and this is a prejudice against the Palestinian economy," said Marouf Zahran, deputy minister of civil affairs, whose ministry submitted the request.

Zahran added that the PNA wants to modify some articles related to the commercial exchanges taking place through Israel, noting that the needed changes are prompted by the acute financial crisis the PNA is facing and a wave of demonstrations.

The agreement has some articles adverse to the growth of the Palestinian economy. Most notably, under the agreement, any big project in the West Bank is subject to Israel's approval.

Also, Israel, according to the protocol, levies tax revenues on Palestinian imports and send the money to the PNA. But in recent years, Israel withheld the money several times as a means of pressuring the PNA to give up its political position.

Peace talks between Israel and the PNA stopped in 2010 over a dispute on Jewish settlement activities. But Zahran said that the Palestinian side is ready to send a high-ranking delegation to Israel to discuss the Paris agreement if Israel is ready accept them.





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