Know More About Palestine

Sunday June 3, 2012 4:25 PM (EST+7)

RAMALLAH, June 3 (JMCC) - The Arab League decided on Saturday to provide the Palestinian Authority with as much as $100 million in cash monthly if Israel stops transferring taxes to Palestinians as it has in the past, reported the Associated Press.

Palestinian Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat said the so-called safety net was pledged by Arab League foreign ministers meeting Saturday in Qatar's capital Doha.

Erekat said the Arab funds would only begin if Israel stops monthly tax payments to the Palestinian Authority.

In December, Israel backed down from halting the payments under intense international pressure.

But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he could reconsider the decision if Palestinians step up their push for UN recognition of an independent state.

After the meeting, in which Jordan participated, Erekat told reporters that Arab League Secretary General Nabil El Araby was tasked with following up on the decision and coordinating with Arab countries, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The Palestinian Authority is currently in a budget crisis, with supplies of critical medication affected and tens of millions owed to the private sector. One of the reasons for the budget crisis has been shortfalls in promised donor funds, much of them from Arab states.

While most of the budget for the interim Palestinian government is collected in taxes on Israeli borders, Israel has threatened to stop the tax transfers if Palestinians continue pursuing statehood at the United Nations or forms a unity government including Hamas. It stopped the transfers briefly last fall but renewed them after international pressure.

Palestinians signed a deal last year to reunite the governments in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, where Hamas has been in control since 2007 fighting. The agreement has been stalled, but new meetings have raised the possibility that power might be shared.






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