Arab support for the Palestinian Authority’s budget has fallen by 82 percent during the first eight months of this year, Shehab news agency reported on Sunday.
According to data issued by the PA Ministry of Finance, the Arab countries have paid the PA $38.1 million in 2020 so far, compared to $198.33 million during the same period last year.
Over the past few months, US President Donald Trump revealed that he had asked the wealthy Arab states to stop paying money to the Palestinians. In July, the PA’s Minister of Finance Shukri Bsharah reported that a number of Arab states had suspended their financial aid for the authority.
Palestinian Authority’s financial crisis ‘could come to end next month’https://t.co/6BrqmasltP
— Mahmoud Ghanem (@MahmoudGhanemPK) October 15, 2020
The decline in Arab support coincides with a budget deficit in the normally supportive states due to the sharp decline in oil prices and reduced demand for crude oil.
Saudi assistance, Shehab reported, declined by 77.2 percent, down from $130m in the same period in 2019 to just $30.8m this year. Algerian support fell to zero whereas it paid $26.1 million during the first eight months of 2019.
The PA said last week that Arab support for its budget has fallen by 55 percent over the past five years from a high of around $1.1 billion. The authority is in the middle of its worst-ever financial crisis since refusing to accept the tax revenues collected by Israel on its behalf since July. That is when PA President Mahmoud Abbas announced the suspension of all agreements with the occupation state.
— @palestinechron (@PalestineChron) October 18, 2020
The country of Bahrain became the latest Arab nation to normalize ties with Israel, less than a month following a similar decision by the United Arab Emirates.
The Bahraini decision, which was announced by US President Donald Trump on Friday was made despite repeated assurances that Manama will not extend diplomatic ties with Israel until Palestinians obtain their rights in accordance with international law.
The Bahrain-Israel agreement came as another shock to Palestinians who still didn’t recover from the news of the UAE-Israel normalization.
(Palestine Chronicle, MEMO, Social Media)