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Israel Deputy FM: No room for review of Paris Protocol

Sept. 10, 2012 12:42 A.M. (Updated: Sept. 11, 2012 5:59 A.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) -- Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister said Monday there is no room to meet the Palestinian request to review the economic accords between their governments.

Danny Ayalon told Israel Radio that the economic annexes to the Oslo Accords could not be treated separately than the political agreements in the main body.

He blamed the Palestinian leadership for refusing to meet with Israeli leaders to make a new political agreement. Palestinian officials say Israel is refusing its necessary conditions for talks, including a freeze on settlement building in Palestinian lands.

In an interview with Israel's Reshet Bet radio on Sunday, Israeli defense ministry policy director Amos Gilad said the state should carefully study the request to assess how realistic it is.

The Paris Protocol was signed in 1994 as an annex to the Oslo Accords that established the interim Palestinian government.

Protesters rallying against rising prices and unemployment across the West Bank this week have called for its cancellation. The agreement has mostly benefited Israel while making the Palestinian economy dependent on Israel's economy, they argue.

The Protocol gave Israel sole control over Palestine's external trade, and collection of customs duties, and pegs VAT to Israeli tax rates.
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