Arab League reaffirms safety net for PA

Arab League reaffirms a pledge to pay $100 million a month to the Palestinian Authority.

Elad Benari ,

(illustration)
(illustration)
Thinkstock

The Arab League on Sunday reaffirmed a pledge to pay $100 million a month to the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Arab finance ministers meeting in Cairo renewed a promise first made in April to boost "the Palestinian Authority's budget with a $100 million monthly transfer... as it faces financial burdens", a statement quoted by AFP said.

They also insisted, in an implicit rebuke to the White House's economic plan, on the "complete Arab support to the Palestinian state's economic, political and financial independence."

The statement came a day after the US administration unveiled the economic part of its peace plan that it will present at an economic conference in Bahrain on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The plan aims to raise more than $50 billion for the PA and create one million jobs for its residents within a decade.

The PA is boycotting the two-day Bahrain conference that, charging that pro-Israel Trump is seeking to buy off the Palestinian Arabs and deprive them of an independent state.

Despite the PA’s refusal to attend, several Arab countries have confirmed their attendance, including Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

On Sunday, the Arab finance ministers also condemned what they dubbed as "Israeli piracy of Palestinian public funds."

The condemnation refers to the Israeli Cabinet’s decision to implement the policy to offset the PA’s payments to terrorists from the tax money Israel collects on behalf of the PA.

Immediately after the Cabinet's decision, the PA announced it would not take the partial sum of the funds from Israel. PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas later reiterated that he would not accept partial payment of tax transfers owed by Israel and also stressed that he would not end the financial support for the families of terrorists imprisoned or eliminated by Israel.

The Arab League initially pledged in April to pay a $100 million to plug the gap left when Israel blocked tax transfers.

The PA has repeatedly asked for foreign donations in recent years, claiming it is on the verge of collapse due to a worsening financial crisis.

At the same time, it continues to spend six percent of the PA’s annual budget to pay $4.5 million a month to jailed terrorists and another $6.5 million to their families.



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