The Palestinian Authority’s debts have reached $4.2 billion and the financial
crisis is “more than difficult,” Deputy Prime Minister Mohamed Mustafa announced
Mustafa, who was speaking to reporters in Ramallah following
the new PA government’s first weekly meeting, said that the PA’s local debts
were estimated at $600 million to $1.2 billion to banks and $480m. to the
Palestinian Petroleum Authority.
Mustafa serves as deputy prime minister
for economic affairs – a job that makes him the de facto finance
Until his appointment last week, Mustafa was director of the
PLO’s Palestine Investment Fund.
The PA’s external debts have reached
$1b, he said. Failure to pay this debt has resulted in fines estimated at
$100m., Mustafa added.
The PA also another $1b, to the Palestinian
Pension Fund, he said.
He said that the PA was in need of financial aid
to pay salaries to its employees in the coming months.
The PA will have
to increase tax collection, cut expenses and seek additional funding from donor
countries, Mustafa said.
He noted that Kuwait this week decided to give
the PA a $50m. grant, which will go to paying a debt to one of the local
Mustafa said that the new government is committed to the political
platform of PA President Mahmoud Abbas and the PLO.
He expressed his
government’s concern over Israel’s policy of construction in settlements and
He stressed the need for a full cessation of settlement
construction before resuming peace talks with Israel.
had the right to “resist” the settlements, he said.
Meanwhile, the new PA
Prime Minister, Rami Hamdallah, met in Ramallah on Tuesday with US
Consul-General in Jerusalem, Michael Ratney, who congratulated him on his
A statement published by the PA said the two men discussed
US efforts to support Hamdallah’s government.