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Arab Countries Evading Commitment to PA, Charges Fayyad

PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad calls for an urgent Arab summit to address the PA's financial crisis.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 12/24/2012, 6:14 AM

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad
Reuters

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad accused Arab states on Sunday of evading their financial commitments to the PA.

The Bethlehem-based Ma'an news agency reported that during a visit to Jenin, Fayyad called for an urgent Arab summit to address the PA's financial crisis.

The PA is trying to overcome the crisis, Fayyad said, stressing the importance of resilience in the face of challenges to the Palestinian people and its leadership.

Arab countries have yet to follow through on a pledge to provide a financial safety net of $100 million monthly to the PA, reported Ma'an.

Two weeks ago, representatives of the Arab League who met in Qatar’s capital Doha pledged to transfer the monthly sum in order to give the PA government under Chairman Mahmoud Abbas a “financial safety net.”

The exact form of the payment was not determined, but Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi said after the meeting that the “mechanism is that the chair of the committee (Qatar) and the secretary-general will contact each country with the exact amount they have to pay.”

Fayyad's plea on Sunday follows a similar one last week, in which he also urged Arab League nations to make good on their pledged "safety net" funds, essentially begging those nations to keep the PA alive.

"I have nothing left to do but to urge our Arab brothers to activate this net, because until this point there has been no movement to deliver the $100 million," Fayyad told reporters at a briefing in his Ramallah office.

"If this safety net is not activated quickly, I'll call for an emergency Arab summit to discuss financial situation because it's a dangerous situation," he said.

The PA currently faces its worst economic crisis since its founding, and Fayyad has warned that the entity may soon fail financially and cease to exist.

Employees of the PA government across Judea and Samaria went on strike last week over unpaid salaries, but they chose to blame Israel for the crisis because of its decision to withhold tax and tariff revenues it collects on the PA's behalf.

The Israeli decision to withhold the taxes for several months was a direct response to Abbas's unilateral move at the United Nations, where the entity was recognized as a non-member observer state in a direct violation of the Oslo Accords which prohibit unilateral moves.