JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel and the Palestinians said Thursday that they had reached an agreement to end an escalating trade crisis that had heightened tensions between the sides.
Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement that Israel would allow Palestinian agricultural exports after the Palestinians resumed accepting Israeli beef.
The Palestinian agriculture ministry said Israel had allowed the Palestinians to import beef directly from abroad without acknowledging whether the Palestinians had agreed to accept Israeli beef as well.
The ratcheting down of the trade crisis comes as tensions between Israel and the Palestinians are high following the unveiling last month of President Donald Trump's Mideast initiative, which is hugely favorable to Israel. The Palestinians have rejected the plan outright.
The trade crisis erupted in September, when the Palestinians decided to stop importing beef from Israel. The Palestinian Authority claimed most of the 120,000 head of cattle they imported monthly from Israel was itself imported and they therefore preferred to import directly from abroad. The move appeared aimed at reducing the Palestinians’ economic dependence on Israel.
Shortly after the September announcement, Israeli cattle ranchers saw a drop in their market and pressured Israeli authorities to take action. Bennett retaliated with a ban on Palestinian beef and other products, triggering the Palestinians to expand their boycott, and stop importing Israeli vegetables, fruits, beverages and mineral water.
The Palestinians said their actions were aimed at pressuring Israel into revoking its ban, while Israel said normal trade would be restored the moment the Palestinians reversed the cattle ban that sparked the crisis.
5 Travel Company Stocks Likely to Suffer From the Coronavirus
How important is the global travel and tourism industry? It’s a sector that accounts for about 10% of the world’s adult workforce. That’s 350 million people. The industry also accounts for at least 4% of the global gross domestic product (GDP).
In short, it’s an industry that accounts for trillions of dollars for the economy. And it relies on the most visible workers like pilots and cruise ship captains to the kitchen and housecleaning staff and servers. The travel industry is in many ways a service industry. But when there’s nobody to service, these businesses take a tumble.
And tumble it has. The world is going through a period of enforced social distancing. Many countries are taking even more extreme measures to lock down parts, or all, of their countries in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus and to flatten the curve to prevent healthcare workers and hospitals from being overwhelmed.
But that means fewer people are flying. Planned vacations are being canceled. And all of this is bad news for a sector that relies on the mobility of global travelers.
To be fair, the best of these companies should recover just fine. However, some of these companies had fundamental concerns that will be magnified by the loss of revenue.
View the "5 Travel Company Stocks Likely to Suffer From the Coronavirus".