The Israeli government is using the unity agreement, which is due to be ratified in Cairo this week, as justification for punitive economic measures against the Palestinians.
Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz has refused to hand over approximately 88 million dollars in customs taxes and other levies belonging to the Palestinians as stipulated in the 1993 Oslo Accords. Israel has further said it is also considering imposing economic sanctions.
More than 170,000 Palestinians who are employed by the Palestinian Authority in Gaza and the West Bank could go without their salaries if the money is withheld, which would create chaos.
PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad told journalists that he and his officials had made urgent contacts with influential international figures asking them to pressure Israel to release the funds owed to the PA. Israel collects approximately 1.4 billion dollars annually on behalf of the PA.