Free money to the Palestinians from fellow Arab countries have dropped by 85% in 2020, 100% since March, when the peace negotiations between Israel and the Gulf states began.
By SARAH CHEMLA
Palestinian officials have a feeling that the recent normalization agreements between Gulf states and Israel have led to a sudden decrease in funding from Arab states to the Palestinian Authority.
According to The New Arab’s Arabic-language and data from the Palestinian finance ministry service, Ramallah has received no aid from Arab countries since March, in addition to a 50% decrease in foreign aid.
The total of the Ramallah’s revenues dropped by about 70% this year.
The Palestinian government’s funding dropped by half with respect to foreign aid in the first seven months of the year, from $500 million in 2019 to $255 million in 2020 in foreign aid, and dropped by 85% in Arab aid, from $267 million in 2019 to $38 million in 2020, in the same period.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki examined the reasons behind the sudden fall in funding in a press conference, claiming that “most of the Arab countries did not abide by the decisions of the Arab summits to provide a financial safety net of $100 million for Palestine in the face of US and Israeli sanctions.”
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This financial situation happened amid the coronavirus pandemic, but also during a period when normalization agreements – strongly opposed by Ramallah – were being negotiated between several Gulf states and Israel – strongly backed by the US.
US President Donald Trump told Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu that he had “asked the rich Arab countries not to pay the Palestinians”, according to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.
“We do not know if this was the result of the financial repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic, or at the request of the United States, as President Trump said,” added Al-Maliki.
“But the result is the same, unfortunately these decisions have not been done nor implemented.”
The financial crisis and the fall in Arab and foreign aid has forced the Palestinian Authority to increase its domestic borrowing and search for new sources of revenue.
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