2006–07 economic sanctions against the Palestinian National Authority
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The 2006–07 economic sanctions against the Palestinian National Authority were economic sanctions imposed by Israel and the Quartet on the Middle East against the Palestinian National Authority and the Palestinian territories following the January 2006 legislative elections that brought Hamas to power.
Following Hamas' electoral victory in the January 2006 Palestinian Authority legislative elections, representatives of the Quartet (United States, Russia, United Nations, and European Union) on January 30, 2006, conditioned future foreign assistance to the PA on the future government's commitment to nonviolence, recognition of the state of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements. Hamas has not complied with these demands.
The sanctions consisted of:
- The Quartet countries would no longer provide international aid to Hamas-led PA government e.g. U.S. ceased providing both indirect and direct foreign aid to the PA with the exception of some emergency humanitarian assistance.
- Restrictions by Israel of movement within the Palestinian territories and of goods moving in and out, and withholding of tax revenues collected by Israel for PA.
Israel and the Quartet said that sanctions would be lifted only when the Palestinian government has met the following demands:
- Renunciation of violence.
- Recognition of Israel by the Hamas government (as the PLO had done).
- Acceptance of previous agreements between Israel and the Palestinian National Authority.
Hamas has resisted such changes. U.S. analysts believe that its strategy is to endure international pressure in order to strengthen its own charitable networks and weaken the resolve of foreign donors who may grow weary of prohibiting aid over the long term. In 2007, Fatah member said that Hamas was unable to manage the government and pay the salaries and get recognition from the European donor countries and international organisations. This led to the clashes between Hamas and Fatah.
Following media reports suggesting that the humanitarian situation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip was worsening, the Quartet in conjunction with the World Bank, attempted to find a way to provide some relief to the Palestinians without working with the Hamas-led government. The EU delivered $143 million in emergency assistance, and the United States pledged $300 million in humanitarian relief, all of which is intended to bypass the Hamas-led government.
Changes after Hamas takeover of Gaza
Following the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip in 10-15 June 2007, Israel and the Quartet countries eased some of the sanctions on the West Bank, in order to support the Fatah government, while at the same time tightening the blockade of the Gaza Strip, in order to put pressure on the Hamas administration. On June 16, 2007, United States Consul-General Jacob Walles said that the U.S. was planning to lift the ban on direct aid to the emergency government of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Similarly, the Quartet voiced support for Abbas and concern for the humanitarian situation in Gaza, though they did not announce any change in the ban on direct aid. Some Israeli officials said $300 to $400 million in Palestinian tax revenues may be returned to the Palestinian National Authority, short of the $700 million Abbas was seeking. Indeed, on June 25, 2007, Israel agreed to transfer hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues it had seized to the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in order to support the Fatah government.
- CRS Report for Congress, 27 June 2006, U.S. Foreign Aid to the Palestinians
- Erlanger, Steven (February 18, 2006). "Hamas Leader Faults Israeli Sanction Plan". The New York Times. Retrieved April 22, 2010.
- "Israel to impose Hamas sanctions". BBC News. February 19, 2006.
- "Palestinian split: Views from Hamas and Fatah, six years on". BBC News. 17 June 2013.
- Reuters (June 16, 2007). "U.S. To Lift Sanctions on New Abbas Government". New York Times.
- Isabel Kershner (June 25, 2007). "Israel to Transfer Funds From Taxes to Aid Abbas". New York Times.