• Tel Aviv

  • Tuesday, December 19, 2023 at 1:06 PM
    Last Update : Tuesday, January 2, 2024 at 6:05 AM

Israel’s Central Bank Excludes Palestinian Citizens from Credit Facilities Related to Gaza War Damages

(AWP) - Last month, the Bank of Israel announced that it would allow payments of approximately 117,000 personal loans to be postponed, mostly for loans relating to real estate and other consumer credits, at a total value of 2.7 billion shekels (roughly $727 million).

The bank said that the people who have incurred losses are those who live or have businesses less than 30 kilometers away from the borders of Gaza, or those who have been evacuated from their homes, summoned as reservists, are first-degree relatives of the dead, were kidnapped, or have been reported missing during the war.

The bank’s decision excluded approximately two million Palestinian citizens of Israel.

“Unfortunately, all economic decisions during the war have marginalized Arab citizens. We have seen the law on canceling checks and the registry of returned checks. The law is effective, but only for non-Arabs,”said Omar Findi, an economist and auditor.

Findi noted that the marginalization of the Palestinians inside Israel is not exclusive to times of war.

“After the war, we will examine the rate of state-guaranteed loans for Arab citizens compared to Jews. In general, the Jewish citizens get two times the amount of credit that Arabs get, and with a lower interest rate. Arab citizens are marginalized, and in times of trouble, they become even more so,” he added.

Hussein Marwat, a resident of the city of Nazareth, affirmed that all the businesses that relied on Palestinian workers from the West Bank have come to a standstill.

“The state has given credits to the citizens in the northern and southern borders, but for Arabs in the center, it gave nothing. Those who employ workers from the West Bank have had their businesses stalled. I know of many who got nothing, and have never been compensated,”said Marwat.

He appealed to have the West Bank workers, “allowed to pass, so that businesses can go on and contractors can resume work, in order to reverse the economic damage that has occurred.”

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) warned last month that the deteriorating conditions in the Gaza Strip could undermine the global economy, adding that the current slowdown and rising inflation could become much worse.