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Palestinian Authority can’t pay salaries pending overdue donations from Iraq, other Arab states

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RAMALLAH — The Palestinian Authority, in what was termed its worst
crisis, has failed to pay its security forces.

Finance Minister Nabil Qassis said PA security forces would not be given
their salaries for June on schedule. Qassis said the security forces would
join other civil servants as well as suppliers in waiting for payment.

Some 40,000 Palestinian Authority security forces will not get their salaries for June.

Qassis said this marked the worst financial crisis by the PA since its
inception in 1994. He cited the failure by Arab and other donors to honor their pledges during 2012.

“The PA can’t afford to pay full salaries in its current financial
situation,” Qassis said.

The PA has some 40,000 personnel in its security and intelligence
services. In all, the PA pays monthly salaries to more than 180,000 civil servants.

Qassis said salaries for June would be delayed at least a week. He said
the PA was waiting for a $25 million donation from Iraq to ease the current crisis.

The salary delay emerged as PA security forces have come under
increasing criticism. Officials acknowledged that senior officers were
involved with militias and organized crime while pro-democracy groups
charged that police were acting brutally in peaceful demonstrations.

On July 3, Palestinians held their third protest in Ramallah in less
than a week. The protesters marched downtown and called for the termination
of 1993 accord with Israel, the basis of the PA. Witnesses said police took
photographs but did not intervene.

“We remind the Palestinian Authority that we still toil under the yoke
of Israeli occupation, and that it is unacceptable under any circumstance to
brutally repress the rights of people at a time when we are facing Israeli
aggression all around us,” Palestinians for Dignity, a group that
participated in the demonstration, said.

On July 4, Hamas held its first demonstration in Ramallah in years. The
protest called for the release of Hamas detainees held by the PA.

“The PA will work hard to pay a large part of June’s salary, especially
for the lower class,” Qassis said.

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