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Friday, August 5, 2011

Palestinians Join World With Money Problems

Nadene Goldfoot
The Palestinian Authority, meaning Judea and Samaria "West Bank" is headed by Abbas.  Today they may also be including Gaza as well since they joined them in their unifying strength against Israel.  They are also suffering from lack of funds like everyone else.  They just paid their 170,000 employees in full after being threatened that the workers would go on strike for only receiving 1/2 pay the previous month.

They're looking at next month's shortfall due to lack of payments from pledged doners, especially the Arab countries.  Prime Minister Salam Fayyad attended a meeting with the Arab League to push member states to honor their commitments.  He only received $79 million so far in 2011 out of the $330 million pledged for a six month period.  Saudi Arabia sent in a donation of $30 million.  The European Union paid $22.5 million Euros  to go to the 83,000 employees and retirees. 

Prices were capped for basic food items.  Ramadan, a holy month, began Monday.  It involves fasting and nightly feasting.  Bread is now costing $0.70.  Considering a choice loaf costs over $3 in Portland, Oregon, this is a modest price here. 

The national economy minister, Hassan Abu Libdeh blames Israel's "occupation" for their problems.  He wants Israel to lift 10% of its restrictions on the Palestinian economy to represent an income higher than their monthly needs.  An example was if Israel  lifted their  restrictions on agriculture  the national income would be multiplied by 8.  Of course he forgets that certain types of bombs can be made with fertilizer. 

I suggest that if the Gazans would stop shelling Israel life for all would be much better.  This month Gazans must have used all their money to purchase the 350 rockets they fired into Israel. 

Libdeh thinks that a state that is not occupied would become economically viable and stable since international institutions have Fayyad's management high marks.  Robert Serry, a UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process told the world body last week that the Palestinians are "ready to take the responsibility of a state in the near future."  Did he mention that they have speeded up their shelling of Israel as well? 

The World Bank warned that the Palestine economy was "lacking a vibrant private sector "while Israel restricted them to receive natual resources and markets.  They have yet to prove to many of us that they can think about anything other than bombing Israel, least of all earning their living by working.  It sure sounds like a Socialist or Communist government to me.  If they're on the receiving end of Euros, what are they doing to earn it all? 

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