Palestinians call Israeli economic offer too little, too late

Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon gestures as he speaks at an event in Ofakim, southern Israel May 29, 2017. REUTERS/Amir Cohen - RTX3821U

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, the head Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) unit, traveled to the Palestinian headquarters in Ramallah to personally present Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah with a series of concessions adopted by the Israeli defense Cabinet. They presented  what the Israeli Cabinet called civilian-economic steps.

The Palestinians wondered, is that it? For this, an Israeli delegation headed by the finance minister made such a dramatic late-night visit to Ramallah? A senior Fatah party official who spoke with Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity said cynically that the 1993 Israeli-Palestinian Oslo Accord had been signed with less fanfare. “What’s all the fuss about?” he asked. “Easing passage through the crossing — what about all the rest?”

He called the move “a bad joke” and predicted that the concessions would not satisfy the Americans, who expect Israel to adopt confidence-building measures ahead of diplomatic negotiations. “This isn’t serious, although truthfully, we weren’t expecting anything,” said the Palestinian source. “If Netanyahu thinks that economic measures, numerous and major though they may be, will divert the essence and our desire to reach a diplomatic arrangement, he’s wrong.”
Read full report in Al Monitor