Palestinian Tycoon Munib al-Masri Looking to Prevent PA’s Collapse

Al-Masri is also a co-founder of Breaking the Impasse, a group of Palestinian and Israeli business leaders cooperating for peace.

Munib al-Masri

Munib al-Masri, 80, a.k.a. the Duke of Nablus and the Palestinian Rothschild, one of the richest Palestinians in the world, is laboring frantically to pull banks and Arab nations into an effort to prevent the collapse of the Palestinian Authority, Bloomberg reported.

Al-Masri’s wealth came from the oil and gas business; he also owns the Edgo Group, a London-based holding company; and he is head of the Padico investment holding group, which controls 35 companies.

Al-Masri, who also serves as chairman of Palestine Development & Investment Co., warned that Netanyahu’s campaign promise that there would be no Palestinian state, combined with Israel’s withholding of hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue “will cause the Palestinian Authority to collapse.”

Al-Masri is also a co-founder of Breaking the Impasse, a group of Palestinian and Israeli business leaders cooperating for peace.

Al-Masri Masri has been pleading with Arab leaders and bankers to help soften the economic blows in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

On Tuesday, Algeria said it had transferred $52.8 million to the Palestinian Authority, according to the official Palestinian news agency Wafa.

In January, the Netanyahu government froze the taxes Israel collects for the PA, after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced his plan to take Israel to the ICC in the Hague on charges of war crimes.

The frozen tax assets come to $127 million a month, according to Bloomberg, or 40 percent of the PA’s monthly budget. So far, the only remedy has been a temporary 40 percent cut in salaries for 160, 000 Palestinian civil service employees.

Al-Masri believes Palestinians must increase pressure on Israel through the ICC. But he discourages the expansion of international economic boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel.

“I don’t want to see an armed conflict, ” al-Masri told Bloomberg. “I call for peaceful resistance.”

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