Syria to raise funds for cash-strapped PA

Syria's Vice President Farouk A-Sharaa said on Sunday that his country was beginning a massive fund-raising to help the ailing Palestinian Authority, cut off from much of its $1 billion in annual aid after the Hamas terror organization took control of the government in elections earlier this year. The monies donated, A-Sharaa said in a joint press conference on Sunday with former Iranian president Hashemi Rafsanjani, "were meant to prevent a very real disaster in Palestine." The Syrian government planned to open special bank accounts to receive donations, Syria's official news agency Sanaa said.