Arab finance ministers pledge financial aid to Palestinian Authority

A senior PA official in Ramallah welcomed the announcement but said he was skeptical whether the Arab states would fulfill their pledge.

By
June 24, 2019 04:10
1 minute read.
PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY PRESIDENT Mahmoud Abbas greets the audience during a ceremony in Ramallah

PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY PRESIDENT Mahmoud Abbas greets the audience during a ceremony in Ramallah on December 31, marking the 54th anniversary of Fatah’s founding. (photo credit: MOHAMAD TOROKMAN/REUTERS)

On the eve of the US-led “Peace to Prosperity” conference in Bahrain, Arab finance ministers who met in Cairo on Sunday pledged a monthly financial security net of $100 million to support the Palestinian Authority. However, the Arab ministers did not say when the funds would be transferred to the Palestinians.

A senior PA official in Ramallah welcomed the announcement, but said he was skeptical whether the Arab states would fulfill their pledge.

The ministers announced their decision at the end of an emergency meeting of the Arab League to discuss the PA’s request for urgent financial aid. They affirmed their full support for the Palestinians’ political, financial and economic rights, according to a statement issued at the end of the meeting.

The ministers also condemned Israel’s decision to deduct money from the Palestinians’ tax revenues in response to payments made by the PA to families of security prisoners and “martyrs,” dubbing it an act of “piracy.” They called on Arab states to contribute to the Arab financial security net to help the Palestinians.

Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Arab League secretary-general, told the ministers that providing the financial security net to the Palestinians has become an urgent necessity in light of the difficult conditions faced by the PA.

At the meeting, PA Finance Minister Shukri Bishara said that the Palestinian government’s financial condition was at a “serious turnaround,” and urged the Arab countries to provide financial aid to the Palestinians. He said that donor assistance has sharply dropped over the past six years, from $1 billion before 2013 to less than $450m. in 2018 – a 60% drop.

Denouncing the deduction of tax revenues collected by Israel on behalf of the Palestinians, Bishara said: “How can we achieve sustainable growth, when we have been deprived of investment in more than 64% of our land in Area C” of the West Bank?

Israel, he added, is “exploiting Palestinians’ weakness and their urgent need to receive the revenues on time as a means of political coercion, causing huge damage to the Palestinian economy.”


Related Content

A member of the Taliban holds a flag in Kabul, Afghanistan
August 18, 2019
Trump’s Afghan gamble is about to begin

By SETH J. FRANTZMAN

Cookie Settings