|PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad 311 (R).(Photo by: Reuters)|
Fayyad: PA is on the verge of bankruptcy
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
PA prime minister blames Israel, Arab donor countries for the current crisis; int'l aid drops from $1.8 to $ 1 billion.
The Palestinian Authority is on the verge of bankruptcy because of the severe
financial crisis it has been facing over the past two years, PA Prime Minister
Salam Fayyad said Tuesday.
He said he did not rule out the possibility
that Palestinians would once again take to the streets to protest against
economic hardships, as was the case in September 2012.
Fayyad told the
London-based Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper he was not afraid of the eruption of
social protests in the West Bank.
“I’m not afraid in the traditional
sense of fear because I believe that protests are legitimate,” Fayyad said.
“That’s what I said back in September when the demonstrations took place. I’m
not stressed because of the protests.”
“Rather, I’m stressed because of
the conditions of the people. I apologize to every father and mother who
can’t give their child two shekels to go to school,” he said.
the PA was now in the post-crisis stage and on the verge of
“We are living in a state of misery in all fields, including
health and education,” he added. “Workers and civil servants are unable to go to
work because they don’t have enough money for transportation. We are in a
Fayyad said the crisis began two-and-a-half years ago
because of lack of funding from donor countries. He pointed out that
international aid to the PA dropped from $1.8 billion in 2008 to $1 billion in
Fayyad blamed Israel and the Arab countries for the current crisis.
He said the Israeli government’s decision to seize Palestinians’ tax revenues to
pay their debts to the Israel Electric Company was an “act of piracy” aimed at
punishing the PA following the UN General Assembly’s vote in favor of upgrading
its status to nonmember observer.
Fayyad condemned the seizure of the
revenues as a “fatal blow” to the Palestinian economy.
Fayyad said he had
no explanation as to why the Arab countries were refusing to fulfill their
promise to give the PA $100 million in accordance with the recent decision of
the Arab League, adding that “this is a question that should be addressed to the
He noted that the Arab countries had promised to provide
the PA with a “security net” once Israel seized the Palestinians’ tax
“I have no explanation,” Fayyad said of the failure of the Arab
countries to fulfill their promise. “Frankly, I don’t know what is going
Fayyad said the Palestinians were told to wait until an Arab
economic summit is held on January 21 in Saudi Arabia.
“We can’t wait
until the Arab summit convenes,” he cautioned.
“We need the funds badly
because the PA’s performance is in a state of paralysis.”
The PA cabinet,
meanwhile, issued another appeal to the Arab countries to help it solve its
financial crisis. The appeal came after the cabinet’s weekly meeting in