Palestine resumes co-operation with Israel after six-month break

The Palestinian Authority and the Israeli government agree to “resume contacts” on important issues after six-month stall

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh gestures as he arrives for a cabinet meeting of the new Palestinian government, in Ramallah, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank April 15, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman
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The Palestinian Authority (PA) will "resume contacts" on financial and political issues with Israel, which were suspended in May over Israeli plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said on Tuesday.

The Palestinian premier said the PA would cooperate with Israel on taxes, healthcare and political issues after receiving written assurances that Israel would abide by agreements it has signed with the Palestinians.

“We will resume contacts with the Israelis on financial issues, on health issues, on political issues, on anything that Israel is ready for,” Mr Shtayyeh said during a virtual meeting of the Council on Foreign Relations, a New York-based think tank.

"The most important thing is that now Israel is saying that they are ready to commit themselves to the signed agreements," he stated.

Also on Tuesday, Palestinian civil affairs minister Hussein Al Sheikh wrote on Twitter that "the relationship with Israel will return to how it was" before the Palestinians severed security and civil coordination with Israel in May.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas ended security coordination with Israel in May in protest over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's moves to annex territory in the occupied West Bank that Palestinians had long wanted for a future state.

Severing ties with Israel also involved refusing to accept about $150 million in tax revenue that Israel had collected each month on behalf of the PA, leaving a massive gap in the authority's budget.