Arab States Pledge $100 Million Per Month to PA

Arab states on Saturday pledged to provide the Palestinian Authority with $100 million each month as a back-up if Israel withholds tax revenues, official PA media said.

The decision was taken at the meeting of the Follow-up Committee for the Arab Peace Initiative in the Qatari capital on Sunday, PLO official Saeb Erekat told PA news agency Wafa.

He said President Mahmoud Abbas had made the request to the foreign ministers present to stave off financial crisis if Israel repeats past bars on tax revenues owed to the authority, which are collected by Israel on the PA’s behalf.

Israel froze the transfer of tax revenues to the PA, amounting to around $100 million per month, twice in 2011, when Hamas and Fatah leaders agreed to end their four-year division.

In late March Israeli daily Haaretz reported that Israeli government ministers support a new freeze after the UN Human Rights Council agreed to investigate Israeli settlements.

Secretary General of the Arab League Nabil Al-Arabi was tasked by the meeting with following up on the payments with Arab countries, Erekat told Wafa.

The committee called on Arab nations to fulfill financial commitments they made at prior Arab summits, Wafa reported.

Abbas briefed the meeting on his efforts to achieve full membership of the United Nations at its Security Council and General Assembly, and confirmed he is continuing to examine with Israel ways to achieve peace within the 1967 borders.

Erekat also told reporters after the meeting that reconciliation with Hamas remains a national priority. "If we do not help ourselves, no one will help us," he remarked.

(Ma’an)

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