Shadow Government

Honest-brokering

By Christian Brose A minor request for the Obama administration: Amid your full-court press against Israeli settlements, would you please muster a bit more ire and determination to rectify this absurd situation: Eighteen months have passed since the Paris donor conference, where members of the international community promised the Palestinian government $1.45 billion in assistance ...

By Christian Brose

A minor request for the Obama administration: Amid your full-court press against Israeli settlements, would you please muster a bit more ire and determination to rectify this absurd situation:

Eighteen months have passed since the Paris donor conference, where members of the international community promised the Palestinian government $1.45 billion in assistance for its 2009 budget. The Palestinian Authority (PA), however, has received less than a quarter of this amount, and Arab governments in particular have fallen short, contributing only $78 million of the $600 million pledged. Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayad has been forced to borrow $530 million from local banks this year in order to pay the salaries of PA employees, who with their families constitute one-quarter of the Palestinian population. When combined with the loss of internal revenue from the Gaza Strip since the Hamas takeover and the continuing Israeli restrictions on West Bank movement, the failure of donors to live up to their commitments threatens the tenuous economic progress the PA has made to date.

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