Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh appealed for strong international support to overcome political and financial challenges, enhance reform efforts, and advance development plans.
He made these remarks during the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) donors’ meeting at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
"It is clear to all of us that the Oslo Accords have vanished in all aspects: security, political, legal, and financial," he said, calling on the international community to protect the two-state solution.
He accused the Israeli government of working systematically to undermine the establishment of the Palestinian state and push the Palestinian Authority to the brink of collapse through its daily incursions into the villages, cities, and camps, as well as its policies that are based on murder, arrests, and destruction.
The Israeli government is illegally withholding Palestinian funds, in addition to making unmonitored deductions from electricity, water, and sewage bills, added Shtayyeh.
He went on to say that the "systematic piracy of Palestinian funds has now topped $800 million annually, exceeding our annual deficit by $200 million, which has affected our ability to fulfill our obligations and pay public sector salaries in full."
Meanwhile, international aid has decreased significantly, as it has dropped from 30 percent of the budget to only three percent, he continued.
The PM briefed the meeting on the progress made in implementing the reform agenda.
He said that the government is about to finalize the 2024-2029 development plan, which is based on a set of goals that include strengthening the resilience of the Palestinian people, gradually breaking away from dependency on Israel by expanding Palestinian economic production and diversifying the trade relationship, in addition to strengthening and improving services in public institutions.
The Palestinian government is suffering from an ongoing financial crisis, which it says is the worst since its establishment due to Israel's continued deduction of Palestinian tax funds, the repercussions of the COVID-19 crisis, and an unprecedented decline in foreign support.
For the second consecutive year, the Palestinian government cannot pay total salaries to civil and military servants, an indication of the ongoing financial crisis expected to worsen as the Israeli government deducts more of the PA’s "clearing" tax revenue funds.
For years Israel has been deducting sums of money from the clearance at a rate exceeding 200 million shekels per month, including the prices of electricity purchased by distribution companies and Palestinian local authorities from the Israel Electricity Company, the costs of water and sewage, and an allowance for medical referrals.
Finance Minister Shukri Bishara called on the international community to pressure Israelis to stop these deductions, restore financial rights fully, resolve pending issues in line with international law, and carry out the main amendments in the Paris Agreement.
The minister said during the same meeting that the sharp decline in the donor countries' support was compounded by a doubling in the Israeli deductions.
Bishara went on to say that the year 2023 was challenging for the PA because of the Israeli incursions into Palestinian cities, incurring huge losses in the economy and causing the GDP to slow down to 2.7 percent from 3.9 percent last year.
He further demanded the amendment of the Paris Agreement, saying that it has become a way to control 65 percent of returns and to keep the Palestinian economy dependent on Israel.