G7 calls on Israel to “guarantee” services to Palestinian banks

G7 calls on Israel to “guarantee” services to Palestinian banks
G7 calls on Israel to “guarantee” services to Palestinian banks

This call comes after Israel threatened this week to deprive Palestinian banks of access to its own banking system.

The G7 Finance meeting in Italy called on Israel on May 25 to “to guarantee” banking services to Palestinian banks, so as to avoid vital transactions in the occupied West Bank being blocked, according to a draft final statement obtained by AFP.

“We call on Israel to take the necessary steps to ensure that banking services between Israeli and Palestinian banks remain in place”urge the big financiers of the richest countries in the world in this text.

“Humanitarian crisis”

This call comes after Israel threatened this week to deprive Palestinian banks of access to its own banking system. A threat which had caused great concern in Washington. “Cutting Palestinian banks off from their Israeli counterparts would create a humanitarian crisis”estimated Thursday the American Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen, present in Stresa.

She specified that she had written to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on this subject. “These banking channels are essential for carrying out transactions enabling nearly eight billion dollars of imports from Israel, including electricity, water, fuel and food, and facilitating almost two billion ‘exports per year on which Palestinian livelihoods depend’she emphasized.

Avoid “worsening” the economic situation in the West Bank

In its draft final declaration, the G7 Finances therefore requests that “vital financial transactions and essential trade and services continue”. He also calls on Israel to “pay the withheld customs revenue to the Palestinian Authority, taking into account its urgent budgetary needs”.

Israel actually collects customs taxes on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, which it is supposed to remit to it under the Oslo Accords signed in 1994. However, after October 7, Israel stopped remitting all of these revenues. customs, arguing that it refuses to finance the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, in power in Gaza since 2007 and which it considers to be a “terrorist organization”.

G7 ministers finally call Israel “to remove or relax other measures that have had a negative impact on trade, in order to avoid further worsening the economic situation in the West Bank”.

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