Palestinians fear financial strains on statehood call

September 19, 2011 21:32

NEW YORK - A formal call for Palestinian statehood at the United Nations this week could bring severe financial strains, even a potential collapse of the Palestinian Authority, the territories' top banker told Reuters on Monday.

The United States, a major source of financing and aid for the Palestinian Authority, opposes a unilateral call for statehood.

Washington has warned of repercussions if Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas calls for statehood on Friday, when he is scheduled to address the UN General Assembly.

"It would have a major impact on the economic situation in the West Bank, if the you lose $500 million (in US aid) from financial support for development in the West Bank," Palestinian Monetary Authority Governor Jihad al-Wazir said of his concerns about possible US actions.

Some US politicians have said they will try to cut American aid to the Palestinians if they refuse to back down.

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