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Saudi Arabia donates $100 million to Palestinian Authority
Published Sunday 15/07/2012 (updated) 17/07/2012 19:15
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President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday met with the King Abdullah in
Saudi Arabia. (MaanImages/HO)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- President Abbas on Sunday welcomed Saudi Arabia's decision to donate $100 million to the Palestinian Authority, official news agency Wafa reported.

Ramallah prime minister Salam Fayyad applauded King Abdullah for arranging the contribution through Saudi's ministry of finance.

The transfer, described by Palestinian officials as imminent, will only partially defray the Authority's some $300 million in expenditures this month. But officials in Ramallah are seeking the support of yet more countries to patch a budget deficit projected at over $1 billion for 2012.

"This $100 million is important and significant because it's coming from a leading Arab state, and this hopefully can be an example for other countries to follow," Ghassan Khatib, a government spokesman, told Reuters.

"We will remain in need of external funding. Whenever it is affected, then we will be in crisis," he said.

Amid a downturn in productive sectors and with its economic and commercial prospects hamstrung by Israeli restrictions, the PA is deeply dependent on foreign aid to pay its bills.

Of a hoped-for $1.1 billion in donor funds in 2011, the Western-backed Authority in Ramallah received just under $750 million.

Several factors coalesced last year to leave the Palestinians out of pocket: a global financial downturn, a freeze in Israeli-managed customs duty as West Bank officials sought unity with Hamas in Gaza, and an aid freeze by the United States following the Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations last year.

But with Saudi Arabia's aid offer, Palestinians may hope for an end to the shortfall in pledges by traditional Arab benefactors, wrought in part by attention to domestic unrest and spending during the Arab Spring last year.

Providing the PA with $200 million at the height of its maneuvering for recognition at the UN last September, Saudi Arabia is a key financial fallback for the Authority, whose officials have been keen to express their gratitude.

"This generosity added to the track record of financial and political support by the Kingdom, represented by the custodian of the Two Holy Shrines (King Abdullah)," Salam Fayyad said in a statement on Sunday.

"This support will have a deep impact in deepening the steadfastness of the Palestinian people," he added.

Reuters contributed to this report
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1 ) Nour / 1-State
16/07/2012 00:04
From Global Empire days of the PLO, with vast agricultural and industrial investments all over the world, to bowl beggars...The transformation was all under Abbas and his entourage, who also destroyed the Palestinian people through the disastrous Oslo Accords. The sad situation today is celebrated by too many people who see in this man a patriot, when he begs, and grovels the Americans to release an Israeli spy in Cuba!!! When will this 3abss man and his gang of thieves leave us in peace?

2 ) ras / japan
16/07/2012 08:20
"donates" = in return for?

3 ) Hugo van Randwyck / United Kingdom
16/07/2012 12:14
The Saudis could help the Palestinians by donating $100 million for organising an Out of Country Voting (OCV) for the Palestinian refugees and diaspora, with voter registration cards, showing town and district of origin, e.g. Jaffa, Haifa, Acre. The International Organisation of Migration (IOM) just helped Libyan diaspora register and vote in elections. How about getting a quote from the IOM for OCV for refugees and diaspora. Let's hear what the refugees have to say :)

4 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
16/07/2012 17:19
A projected 2012 fiscal year (W. Bank) Palestinian budget deficit of over a BILLION (U.S.) DOLLARS ??? ... What IN THE HELL are they trying to prove ??? ... How fast they can learn and practice deficit spending from the Americans (and Greeks and Spanish and all other bankrupt countries) ??? ... So if this is (basically) our fault--and I can understand how that could be--and Saudi Arabia (and other Arab nations) are opening up their wallets (GOOD !!!)--just think of all that money (cont.)

5 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
16/07/2012 17:20
going to JORDAN/PALESTINE to help ALL Palestinians GO THERE and attain prosperity like they never experienced in their lives. Just think of it: NO damn Israelite government to worry about; NO damn Israelite settlements to worry about; NO damn dependency on Israelite cooperation to collect and deliver Palestinian taxes; NO damn Israelite roadblocks to cope with; NO damn Israelite "occupation" ever again; NO damn worry about having enough money ... and BEST OF ALL: They get to live (cont.)

6 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
29/07/2012 18:14
ALL TOGETHER in their OWN nation on the MAJORITY (75%) of all of historical, TOTAL (Ottoman Empire) Palestine forever !!! [... and leaving just the MINORITY (25%) of it to Israel]. Isn't that a hell of a deal ??? ... Isn't IT ??? ... Yes, It sure as hell IS !!! ... So-o-o-o-o ... GET THE HELL OUT AND GO ALREADY !!!
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