Last updated: 17 December, 2012

Palestinian prime minister urges Arabs to pay emergency funds

Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad on Sunday urged Arab League nations to make good on $100 million a month in pledged “safety net” funds, warning that his government was facing a “dangerous” financial crisis.

“I have nothing left to do but to urge our Arab brothers to activate this net, because until this point there has been no movement to deliver the $100 million,” Fayyad told reporters at a briefing in his Ramallah office.

“If this safety net is not activated quickly, I’ll call for an emergency Arab summit to discuss financial situation because it’s a dangerous situation.”

The Palestinian government in the West Bank has been mired for months in a financial crisis that has left it regularly unable to pay its employees.

The crisis has only worsened with Israel’s announcement that it would halt the transfer of tax and tariff revenues it collects on behalf of the Palestinians after their successful bid to gain upgraded United Nations status.

Earlier this month, at a meeting in Doha, Arab representatives agreed to activate the network in response to Israel’s measures, but Fayyad said the Palestinians had yet to see the additional funds, which he warned would only plug part of the gap in his budget.