PNA financial crisis requires austerity measures: Abbas

Photo: PNA financial crisis requires austerity measures: Abbas / Arab World

The Palestinian National Authority 's financial crisis is difficult and requires austerity measures, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in remarks published Saturday.

The PNA may not be able to pay salaries for its employees next month and might pay only half of the salaries as it did this month, Abbas said during a meeting with community leaders at his office Friday evening, Xinhua reported.

Abbas noted that he got positive promises from Arab leaders to support the PNA, "but no cash has been transferred for us."

He warned against "negative measures" by local unions, including general strikes or even threats of going on strike, vowing to resort to law to prevent any side from "undermining the PNA's achievements."

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said earlier that several countries, especially the Arab states, did not meet their obligations to support the PNA's budget, which led to the crisis.

Abbas recalled that Israel has delayed transferring tax revenues to the PNA and may delay another transfer in the near future.

Asked about a U.S. warning to cut aid to the PNA, Abbas said the Palestinians have to either endure or collapse. "We will endure in this confrontation and face the pressure."

The U.S. House of Representative passed a resolution Thursday to suspend the American aid if Abbas insisted to go to the United Nations in September for a unilateral vote on a Palestinian state.

The Palestinians want the vote in response to the failure of the U.S.-brokered peace talks, which stopped last year when Israel resumed the Jewish settlement building in the occupied West Bank.

Abbas reiterated that he will not resume the negotiations without an Israeli commitment to stop the construction and to recognize the 1967 lines as the borders of the future Palestinian state.

"Unfortunately, Washington doesn't want us to go to the UN and at the same time doesn't push for real standards for the negotiations," Abbas said.

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