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Saudi Arabia to grant $100m to Palestinians

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President Mahmoud Abbas has struggled to secure financial aid from Arab countries
(image by Reuters)
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Saudi Arabia will give the Palestinian government in the Israeli-occupied West Bank $100m to help alleviate a worsening budget crisis, the Palestinian president's office has said.

"The state's budget is facing a large deficit as a result of the docking of Palestinian money by the Israeli government as a punitive step after the UN recognition of Palestine as an observer state," Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in a statement on Thursday.

Abbas has struggled to convince Arab countries to deliver a $100m monthly "safety net" they promised when he secured de facto UN recognition of a Palestinian state in November, prompting Israeli sanctions. The Ramallah-based Palestinian government has been hard-pressed to pay more than $300m in monthly expenditures since Israel announced it would confiscate $100m it collects in customs taxes on their behalf each month.

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At www.aljazeera.com

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