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Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Palestinian banks lend PA $100 million in expectation that Arab League states will honor their $100 million pledge

Banks to lend PA $100 million
Published 19 December 2012 18:50
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=549532

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Palestinian banks will lend the Palestinian Authority
$100 million to see it through a financial crisis caused by Israeli
sanctions, the Palestine Monetary Authority chief said Wednesday.

The PMA reached an agreement with bank representatives for the short-term
loan that will be repaid when the Arab League delivers its promised
financial security net, Jihad al-Wazir said in a statement.

The Palestinian Authority has already borrowed over $1.2 million from banks,
al-Wizar said.

The cash advance would enable the government to make partial payments of
late salaries, the finance ministry said.

Government employees in the West Bank began a two-day strike on Wednesday to
protest against a delay in the payment of their wages caused by Israeli
economic sanctions.

Israel is withholding about $100 million in monthly customs revenues it
collects on the Palestinians' behalf as punishment for their successful bid
at the UN General Assembly last month to gain de-facto statehood
recognition.

The Palestinian Authority was suffering a deep financial crisis even before
the move, and has had to delay payments to its 153,000 public sector workers
several times this year.

"This strike is against Israel's piracy," said Bassam Zakarneh, chief of the
government employees' union.

"The situation is very grave and the services to the people are much reduced
by the strike," he said. "(People) can't even afford transportation to their
workplaces."

Government workers last received salaries for October, which were payed
belatedly at the end of November.

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