Palestinian officials fear the recent agreements between Israel and Arab nations will result in a lack of funding, according to a report on Thursday.
The Palestinian government hasn’t received a morsel of financial aid from Arab Gulf states since March, as well as a 50 percent decrease in foreign aid, the Jerusalem Post reported, citing data from the Palestinian Finance Ministry Service and The New Arab.
Overall, it said Ramallah’s total revenues fell by about 70 percent this year.
Foreign aid to the Palestinian government plummeted to $255 million in the first seven months of the year from $500 million last year.
At the same time, aid from Arab countries dropped to $38 million from $267 million in 2019.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki explained to reporters that “most of the Arab countries did not abide by the decisions of the Arab summits to provide a financial safety net of $100 million for Palestine in the face of US and Israeli sanctions.”
The report pointed out that the cut in funding happened during the coronavirus pandemic, but also as the Trump administration was brokering ties between Israel and a number of Arab countries.
President Trump stopped sending millions of dollars of US aid to the Palestinians and has urged Arab nations to stop cutting checks, as well.
After Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates agreed to normalize ties to Israel in a ceremony at the White House, Trump predicted that Palestinians would be isolated as other countries try to make similar deals with the Jewish state.
“We do not know if this was the result of the financial repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic, or at the request of the United States, as President Trump said,” Al-Maliki said.
“But the result is the same,” he added.
The loss of aid has forced the Palestinian government to increase domestic borrowing and go in search for new revenue streams.
The European Union has also ordered an investigation into how aid from the countries in the trading bloc end up in the hands of Palestinian terrorists and insisted that loopholes that allow the transfer of funds to be closed.