Palestinian government employees in the West Bank began a two-day general strike on Wednesday to protest against a delay in the payment of their wages because of Israeli economic sanctions.Is it all because of Israeli sanctions? Well...
Israel is withholding some $100 million in monthly customs revenues it collects on the Palestinians' behalf as punishment for their successful bid at the UN General Assembly last month to gain de-facto statehood recognition.
The Palestinian Authority, which exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank, was experiencing a deep financial crisis even before the move, and its 153,000 public sector workers have seen their salaries repeatedly issued late this year.If the October wages were not paid on time, and the UN stunt was in late November, then...how exactly is Israel the only party responsible?
...Government workers last received salaries for October, which were payed belatedly at the end of last month. There was no word on when November or December wages might be handed over.
Reuters manages to admit in a later paragraph:
Israel said the Palestinian UN initiative contravened their peace accords and has threatened to withhold tax returns for four months to cover outstanding Palestinian debts with Israeli utility firms.Oh! So the PA owes Israel hundreds of millions of dollars! Something that we knew for months already!
Meaning, if the PA had paid their debts to Israel, they would have the exact same financial crisis today! Yet the world expects Israel to keep providing free services and never to dare to do anything to collect the debts. How dare they!
Oh, and this:
Arab countries have yet to fulfill pledges to offset the Israeli measures with cash donations.In fact, they have yet to fulfill pledges to the PA given years ago. Most recently before the UN stunt. But Israel is the only party to blame, apparently.
Reuters here is parroting what the Palestinian Arabs are saying .For example, Fayyad today said that "the financial crisis is because of the Israeli piracy of Palestinian tax revenue," pretending that there was no crisis beforehand.
And imagine if the Israel electric company simply turned off the power instead. What an outcry would ensue! Reuters would have photo essays of kids with candles and patients in hospitals without electricity.
As usual, Israel is set up to be the bad guy, no matter what it does.
Meanwhile, teachers in the West Bank also went on strike earlier this week for non-payment of salaries.
By the way, I have never heard Fayyad amend his plan to have the PA be financially independent by the end of 2013. In fact, their debt has skyrocketed since then - again, while Israel transferred tax monies every month.
Not to worry. The World Bank assured us already in 2010 that the PA has the infrastructure ready to become a state.