35. Amend the Paris Protocol

The 1994 Protocol on Economic Relations, colloquially known as the Paris Protocol, was negotiated to formalize economic ties between Israel and the Palestinians. Like many agreements from that era, the Paris Protocol was intended to be an interim measure but has become semi-permanent.

Elements of the Paris Protocol are now outdated or are applied in ways that contravene the spirit of the agreement. For example, the agreement allowed the Palestinian Authority to determine its own tariffs for imports from a handful of Middle Eastern states. In 1994, this was seen as the basis for a Palestinian tariff book, but today, it has become a hard cap on which states the PA can independently set trade relations with. The Paris Protocol also stipulated that Israel will collect and pay tax revenues to the PA on goods and services entering the Palestinian Territories through Israeli ports. However, the Israeli government has repeatedly ignored this obligation as a means of punishing the Palestinians over political disputes, depriving the PA of much-needed tax revenues, which consequently harms public sector employees in the territories. The Joint Economic Committee established by the Paris Protocol has failed to consistently meet in the past 24 years.

The Paris Protocol should be amended to reflect current realities and to demonstrate a serious commitment to upgrading Palestinian economic independence. Moreover, Israel must develop a sustainable means by which to register disagreements with the PA that does not involve violating the agreement on an ad hoc basis. In order to ensure that bilateral economic arrangements are properly respected and updated, Israel and the PA should make convening the Joint Economic Committee a priority.