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PA Appeals to Arab Ministers for More Money

The Palestinian Authority has appealed to the Arab League for more money, citing the “worst budget crisis” in nearly 20 years.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 7/15/2012, 2:30 PM

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
Flash 90

The Palestinian Authority has appealed to the Arab League for more money, citing the “worst budget crisis” in nearly 20 years.

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas met Friday with Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah over the issue, according to former PA chief negotiator Saeb Erekat, a top official in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

On Wednesday, Abbas is scheduled to meet with newly-elected Islamist Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood that gave rise to Fatah's rival, the Hamas terrorist organization that rules Gaza.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Mursi over the weekend, and was scheduled to meet Sunday with the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces of Egypt (SCAF), Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi. She reportedly has no plans to meet with Abbas in Ramallah.

Fatah, the leading faction in the Ramallah-based PA government, is headed by Mahmoud Abbas.

The PA requires nearly half a billion dollars to overcome its current cash flow problem, according to the PA envoy to Saudi Arabia, Jamal Shobaki. The Ramallah-based government debt at present was estimated at approximately $1.5 billion.

A PA official noted that if the government falls due to bankruptcy, “We won't be able to provide any services. If we go down, Hamas will take over.”

The Palestinian Authority has received billions of dollars in foreign aid over the past 20 years, much of it from the United States and other Western Nations, including Israel. However, a significant portion of its budget is squandered on monthly stipends to thousands of terrorists incarcerated in Israeli prisons, and paying salaries to Hamas workers in Gaza. Both are in violation of agreements made with Western governments over foreign aid to the PA.