* Pledge comes after Israel froze money transfers
* No details provided on who will pay and how
DOHA Dec 9 Arab states agreed to provide the
Palestinian Authority with a $100 million monthly "financial
safety net" to help President Mahmoud Abbas's government cope
with an economic crisis after the United Nations granted de
facto statehood to Palestine.
Israel has responded to the Nov. 29 U.N. vote by ordering
3,000 Jewish settler homes be built in the occupied West Bank
and announced it would hold back payments of customs duties it
collects on behalf of the Palestinians to pay an outstanding
In a statement issued on Sunday after a meeting in Doha,
Arab foreign ministers called for the "immediate implementation"
of a resolution passed at an Arab summit in Baghdad in March,
which called for the provision of a $100 million monthly safety
But the statement did not give details of how the money
would be paid or who would pay.
Israel and the United States opposed the U.N. General
Assembly's upgrade of the Palestinians' status to "non-member
state", saying Abbas should instead resume peace talks that
collapsed in 2010 over Israeli settlement-building.
The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund said in
September that a gathering crisis in the Palestinian economy
will worsen unless foreign funding increases and Israel eases
long-standing curbs on development.
In a separate report, the World Bank also forecast a $1.5
billion Palestinian budget deficit for 2012, with donor funds
expected to cover only $1.14 billion of this shortfall.
Last Thursday, the Palestinian cabinet said at a meeting in
the West Bank city of Ramallah that $240 million were needed
every month to meet demands arising from the Israeli decision to
stop customs revenues transfers and the failure of donors to
transfer previously pledged funds.
The Palestinian Authority exercises limited self-rule in the
West Bank and receives most of its aid from the United States,
the European Union and Arab states.
But over the past several years there has been a shortfall
in aid coming from Arab states resulting in the PA being unable
to pay salaries to its 153,000 civil servants on time on several
occasions. The administration has yet to pay November salaries
following Israel's decision to withhold money transfers.
The Arab ministers also called for convening of a donors
conference to discuss ways to support the Palestinian people in
the West Bank and discuss reconstruction in the Gaza Strip.
Qatar's ruler, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, pledged
$400 million to help develop Gaza during a visit there in
October. But recent fighting between Gaza's
Hamas rulers and Israel has caused further destruction to the
territory, requiring more funds for reconstruction.