RAMALLAH, March 6 (Rahnuma): A senior aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas unveiled on Wednesday that the Palestinian Authority (PA) is seeking alternatives to deal with its mounting financial crisis.
Mohamad Mustafa, an advisor of economy to Abbas, told Voice of Palestine Radio that seeking financial alternatives was decided following the decline of world’s donations and the Israeli cuts in the tax revenues.
“The Palestinian leadership is facing serious economic sanctions,” Mustafa said, adding that “keeping the Palestinian people’s interests is on the top priority of the Palestinian leadership.”
Mustafa also said that PA “is seeking alternatives to the U.S. and foreign aid as well as donation through friendly parties.”
On Tuesday, Abbas held a meeting in Jordan with the chairman of the Islamic Bank for Investment Bandar Ben Hamza and discussed with him “the difficult economic situation in the Palestinian territories.”
Meanwhile, the official Palestinian News Agency reported that “so far, there is no specific date for paying February’s salaries to the PA’s civil and security servants in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.”
The agency quoted unnamed sources as saying that the PA Minister of Finance Shukri Bishara sent a letter to his Israeli counterpart Moshe Kahlon that the Israeli cuts of the tax revenues “are unbearable and won’t be accepted anymore.”
Israeli government has decided to withhold around 138 million U.S. dollars in tax revenues that Israel collects from the Palestinian trade on behalf of the PA.
Israel said that it decided to cut the money from the tax revenues, which the PA pays to the families of Palestinian prisoners and those were killed during attacks they carried out against Israel.
Abbas said in response that he will not accept the tax revenues if any amount of it was to be deducted.