Abbas: Palestinians need funds to combat 'Israeli threats'

In Saudi paper, PA president writes that "pressures from Israel and its allies" are a risk to plan to seek United Nations approval for statehood.

August 15, 2011 16:32
1 minute read.
PA President Abbas at PLO Executive meeting

PA President Abbas at PLO Executive meeting 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday appealed for Arab financial support to help the Palestinians deal with "pressures and threats from Israel and its allies" which he said were a risk to his plan to seek United Nations approval for statehood in September.

The Palestinian Authority faces a financial crisis which forced it to cut government wages by half in July. Policymakers have identified a shortfall in Arab aid as the main cause.

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Writing in the Saudi newspaper Al-Watan, Abbas said the Palestinians faced pressure from Israel and its allies to prevent them from seeing through their planned diplomatic action at September's General Assembly meeting in New York.

"We have not enjoyed the Arab political and financial support needed to get through this delicate period. These pressures and threats will continue and reduce the chances of success," Abbas wrote, without specifying the threats.

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Despite the pressure, he said he was committed to seeing through the diplomatic offensive.

Abbas said that his reasons for the UN statehood bid in September included the fact that "bilateral negotiations have reached a dead end". He also said it would improve the chances of serious negotiations.

Abbas thanked the Arabs, particularly Saudi Arabia, for "continuous aid to their Palestinian brothers."

"However their support now has a special quality in supporting our diplomatic move which will help in bringing peace closer," he wrote.

The Palestinian Authority pays salaries to 150,000 people in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and monthly allowances to another 75,000 people.

Though it paid full wages in August, the PA warned its financial troubles were not over.

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