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Saudi Arabia bails out the Palestinian Authority

Special to WorldTribune.com

RAMALLAH — Saudi Arabia has intervened to rescue the Palestinian
Authority from its worst financial crisis.

Officials said the Gulf Cooperation Council kingdom has agreed to relay
$100 million to the regime of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas meets with Saudi King Abdullah in Jeddah on July 13. /EPA

The officials said the money was expected to be transferred from Riyad to the West Bank over the next few days.

“This support will have a deep impact in deepening the steadfastness of the Palestinian people,” PA Prime Minister Salam Fayad said.

In a statement on July 15, Fayad said the Saudi donation marked the
latest in a series of financial assistance by Riyad. The prime minister said he hoped other countries would follow with additional aid.

“This generosity added to the track record of financial and political
support by the kingdom, represented by the custodian of the two holy
shrines,” Fayad said.

Officials said the PA, which faces unprecedented unrest, required at
least $300 million over the next few weeks to pay salaries and contractors for June. They said the PA expected a budget deficit of more than $1 billion for 2012.

The Saudi aid was approved after a visit by Abbas to Riyad on July 13.
Abbas met Saudi King Abdullah and, officials said, a day later the money was
approved.

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