BEIRUT

Middle East

Palestinian PM blasts Arab donors

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad pauses during an interview with the Associated Press in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

RAMALLAH, West Bank: The Palestinian prime minister is blaming Arab countries that haven't delivered promised aid for an escalating financial crisis in the Palestinian territories.

Salam Fayyad said in an interview on Sunday that the cash crunch threatens to double the number of Palestinian poor to 50 percent of the population of roughly 4 million.

The crisis worsened late last year, after the Palestinians won U.N. recognition for a state of Palestine. In response, Israel suspended monthly transfers of some $100 million in tax rebates to the Palestinians, one-third of the Palestinian Authority's monthly operating costs.

Fayyad said Arab League states have not kept a promise to pay the money Israel withholds. He says the fundamental reason for the financial crisis of recent years is "Arab donors not fulfilling their pledge of support."

 

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