Israel and the Palestinian Authority will give economic talks another shot, Israel National News has reported.
Earlier talks in November 2012 came to a close when Gaza led a terror onslaught and Israel responded with the Pillar of Defense operation, according to the aforementioned report.
Israel’s finance minister, Yair Lapid, and his PA corollary, Shukri Bishara, reportedly met Sunday at Lapid’s office in Jerusalem to discuss possible economic cooperation between the two regions. Perhaps more importantly, they also discussed whether Israel and the PA would resume regular talks, according to Israel National News.
Apart from those issues, Lapid and Bishara were also expected to discuss Israeli imports to Gaza and from Gaza to Israel; the PA’s repayment of a debt to the Israel Electric Company; and the transfer of tax money from Israel to the PA, Israel National News further reported.
Israel has initially collected taxes for the PA until it sought to unilaterally declare statehood. But it resumed collection recently to assist the PA with its current financial crisis, according to the aforementioned report. Last week, the PA announced that it was $4.2 billion in debt and would need help to defray salaries, the Jerusalem Post reported.
The talks were motivated by economic interests—not political ones—the report added, citing both Lapid and Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
Following the meeting between the two officials, Lapid affirmed that cooperation with the PA would occur in Israel’s future and that such cooperation would “continue to strengthen the connection and promote important economic issues that are important to both sides,” according to the Associated Press.