Saudi Arabia ordered the transfer of $100 million to the Palestinian Authority (PA) to help alleviate its financial crisis, Palestinian Premier Salam Fayyad announced Sunday, according to official news agency Wafa.
The Saudi grant came after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visited the kingdom on Friday to discuss a solution to the PA’s crisis, which left its government unable to pay full salaries for its employees this month.
Fayyad hailed the donation received from Saudi Arabia and said in a statement that the Saudi financial minister informed him of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia’s order to transfer the money to the PA.
“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.
On Friday, the top Palestinian diplomat in Riyadh, Jamal Shobaki, told AFP that the PA’s debts stood at $1.5 billion.
With a recession in productive sectors and with its economic and commercial prospects confined by Israeli restrictions, the PA is depends on foreign aid to pay its bills.
Israel and the United States impose financial sanctions on the P.A. whenever it has filed international recognition bids at the UN and its subsidiary organizations in an attempt to pressure the PA to resume direct peace talks with Israel.
On Tuesday of last week, Washington issued a statement telling the P.A. that if it files any other membership bid at the UN, all financial aid granted by the United States would be cut.
In response to Washington’s statement last week the Palestinian Authority reiterated its position that it would withhold its UN bid for statehood if Israel stopped building settlements and released the Palestinian prisoners that were detained before the Oslo’s agreement of the 1993.