The Palestinian finance minister says his self-rule government is facing its worst financial crisis in years because donor countries have paid only $466 million of $1.2 billion promised this year, the Associated Press
reported Wednesday, July 11. The Palestinian Authority, which administers 38 percent of the West Bank, depends on foreign funding, in part because of a bloated public payroll. Finance Minister Nabil Qassis said Wednesday that Arab countries have not kept promises, including Saudi Arabia, which pledged $95 million. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas visits Saudi Arabia this week. The crunch means civil servants, the largest group of workers, get only partial salaries this month. The Palestinian Authority owes hundreds of millions of dollars to the private sector and to banks.