Arab League foreign ministers are scheduled to hold an emergency meeting in
Doha, Qatar, on July 22 to discuss the PA’s severe financial crisis.
move comes at the request of the Palestinian Authority.
Mahmoud Abbas met on Friday with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah and urged him to
help solve the crisis, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat
Erekat did not say whether Saudi Arabia had agreed to support the
He described the crisis as the worst since the
establishment of the PA nearly 20 years ago.
The PA envoy to Saudi
Arabia, Jamal Shobaki, estimated the PA government’s debts at $1.5
He said that to overcome the crisis, the PA was in urgent need
of at least $500 million.
PA employees last week received only 60 percent
of their salaries for June – a move that has triggered widespread discontent
among Palestinians with the PA leadership.
A PA official in Ramallah said
Abbas was also scheduled to visit Qatar and Egypt later this week for talks
about the financial crisis.
In Cairo, Abbas will meet with newly elected
President Mohamed Mursi for the first time, the official said, noting that the
meeting will take place on Wednesday.
The official warned that the
failure of Arab and Western donors to keep their financial pledges was
“threatening to bring down the Palestinian Authority.”
“We are on the
brink of bankruptcy. Without urgent aid, we won’t be able to provide any
If we go down, Hamas will take over the West Bank,” he
Ahmed Assaf, a top Fatah official, claimed on Saturday that Hamas
was anyway plotting to extend its control from the Gaza Strip to the West
He said Hamas was inciting its supporters in the West Bank against
the PA and that the Fatah-dominated security forces had been placed on high
alert to foil the Islamist movement’s scheme.