Sunday, April 21
A senior Palestinian official said President Mahmoud Abbas would ask the Arab states at a meeting of foreign ministers on Sunday in Cairo to borrow money to help the Palestinian Authority deal with its financial crisis.
"The request for a loan and the call to activate the Arab security net comes within the scope of attempts to overcome the financial crisis and not succumb to Israeli blackmail," said the official, who asked not to be identified.
In the past two months, the Palestinian Authority has refused to receive Israel's tax revenues from goods entering the Palestinian market for a 3% commission, after deducting part of the money the Authority pays to families of martyrs and held in their prisons.
The Palestinian Authority relies on fiscal resources raised by Israel for Palestinian products, known as "compensation", in addition to local taxes and aid from Arab countries and donors in paying their financial obligations.
Over the past two months, the Palestinian Authority has been able to pay half the salaries of its civilian and military officials. "As the month of Ramadan approaches, a large proportion of the wages of the employees must be paid so they can fulfill their obligations to their families," the official said.
Details of the resources for which half of civil servants' salaries were paid were not available. The official page of the Ministry of Finance states that "because of the Emergency Law and legal dependencies with the Israeli side, the financial reports have been temporarily suspended."
According to a World Bank report published on Wednesday, Israel's revenues for the Palestinians, which are transferred monthly to Ramallah, amount to 65% of AP's total revenue.
"If this crisis is not resolved, the financing gap will increase from $ 400 million in 2018 to over $ 1 billion in 2019," the report said.
The Palestinian government said at its first meeting led by Mohammad Echtia last week that it convened a meeting of donor countries on the 30th of this month to discuss the financial crisis experienced by the Palestinian Authority.
The official Palestinian news agency said Abbas arrived in Cairo to attend the Arab League Council meeting at the level of Arab foreign ministers on Sunday after Palestine's invitation to meet in an emergency.
"Among the things that will be discussed at the meeting is the activation of the Arab financial security network to support the Palestinian budget, especially in light of the Israeli detention of the compensation funds for about two months," said Majdi Khalidi, Abbas's diplomatic adviser.