• search
For Quick Alerts
For Daily Alerts

Abbas says Palestinian aid freeze destabilising

By Super

RAMALLAH, West Bank, May 9 (Reuters) Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas urged Middle East peace brokers today to end a freeze on foreign aid to the Hamas-led government, saying lack of funds could ''jeopardise the very foundation'' of government.

Western powers led by the United States and the European Union froze direct aid to the Palestinian Authority to put pressure on Hamas to renounce violence, recognise Israel and abide by interim peace deals.

Local and international banks, fearful of being hit with US anti-terrorism sanctions and lawsuits, have also refused to deal with the Authority, creating a liquidity crisis.

As a result, the Palestinian Authority has been unable to pay salaries to 165,000 civil servants since March, prompting concerns of a humanitarian crisis that could trigger an upsurge of Middle East violence.

''A quarter of Palestinians rely on public sector salaries, and failure to pay these salaries could jeopardise the very foundation of the institutions of the Palestinian Authority and the future Palestinian state,'' Abbas told the Quartet of Middle East peacemakers -- the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations.

''I therefore urge you to ensure that salaries are paid,'' he wrote in a letter obtained by Reuters.

The moderate Palestinian president made the remarks ahead of a meeting today to hammer out how to deal with a government led by Islamist Hamas, which remains sworn to Israel's destruction although it has largely abided by a truce for more than a year.

''Besides the potential humanitarian crisis resulting from the general deterioration of the economic situation, inability to pay salaries might have deep destabilising political and security implications,'' Abbas said.

Washington remains opposed to direct aid to the Hamas government, which took office in March after defeating Abbas's long-dominant Fatah party in a January parliamentary election.


For Daily Alerts

For Breaking News from Oneindia
Get instant news updates throughout the day.

Notification Settings X
Time Settings
Clear Notification X
Do you want to clear all the notifications from your inbox?
Settings X
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. This includes cookies from third party social media websites and ad networks. Such third party cookies may track your use on Oneindia sites for better rendering. Our partners use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on Oneindia website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. Learn more