Cash Freeze: PA Whines

Fayyad complains he can't pay salaries after Israel cut off PA cash in response to reconciliation with Hamas.

Gil Ronen, | updated: 19:22

Israeli money in PA hands.
Israeli money in PA hands.
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The "Prime Minister" of the Palestinian Authority (Fatah / Judea and Samaria) complained Monday that the PA would face difficulty paying salaries to its employees this month because of Israel's decision to cut off cash flow to the PA.

According to PA news agency WAFA, Salam Fayyad said Israel's decision to withhold funds would exacerbate the PA's already serious financial difficulty. He appealed to donor countries to help resolve the crisis through additional financial aid to the PA, and by placing pressure on Israel to release the money as soon as possible.
He called the Israeli decision “political.”
Israel informed the PA on Sunday that it would suspend the monthly transfer of funds it collects on the PA's behalf, in taxes and customs fees on goods imported by PA residents that enter through Israeli ports. Israel cited the reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah as the reason for its decision. 
The Israeli decision “harms the ability of the PA to meet its financial obligations and payment of salaries for last month,” Fayyad said.
WAFA quoted Fayyad as saying Israel had no right to withhold the money because it was not an Israeli grant or financial support. “It is Palestinian money and Israel is required by economic agreements to transfer it to the Palestinian Authority.” 
Fayyad noted the income from taxes and customs fees, including those levied by the PA locally, makes up only two-thirds of the total PA revenues. The PA relies on donor support for additional assistance.
“What is needed is to move quickly to pressure Israel to release these funds,” said Fayyad. “But until that happens, we will not be able to meet our obligations, not only in salaries, but in other payments, without additional help. We need urgent and immediate assistance.”