Palestinian Government May Use Cryptocurrency as An Alternative to the Israeli Shekel

By Chris Torres | July 23, 2019

Mohammad Shtayyeh – current Prime Minister of Palestine – has repeatedly claimed that the country officials are discussing whether to employ cryptocurrency as a replacement for the Israeli shekel fiat.

Reported by the Al-Monitor on July 22, during his speech at the opening of the Ramallah-located Palestine Center for Computer Emergency Response, took place on July 9, Shtayyeh said that in the efforts of amping the freedom for the Palestinian economy, which can’t be blocked by Israel, every measure is possible.

“The Palestinian economy has about 25 billion shekels [$7 billion] circulating in the local economy, but we’re not forced to remain dependent on the shekel.” Shtayyeh claimed in his first official appearance on Palestine TV, following his appointment in April.

Al-Monitor revealed that the 1994 Paris protocol – an agreement jointly signed by Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization in April 25 years ago – granted the Palestinian Monetary Authority (PMA) with the authority of a central bank, but not the power of giving out banknotes. The protocol additional notified that the Israeli shekel is the official “means of payment for all purposes including official transactions.”

“If Palestine has its own currency, will it be able to prevent Israel from withholding tax clearance funds or controlling crossings and the movement of exports and imports? The problem of the Palestinian economy is not the currency but rather a complex economic and political reliance on Israel.” Economic and social sciences professor at Najah University in Nablus added.

Moreover, he revealed that 170,000 Palestinian employees receive their salary in shekels, and a majority (80%) of the transactional activities conducted in Palestine is in this currency.

“Israel won’t accept dealing with another currency, and the shekel surplus predicament in Palestine will remain unchanged.”

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