Palestine says to resort to bank loans to pay public servants’ salaries

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Palestine on Monday said it will take loans from local banks so that it will be able to pay for public sector employees amid a financial crisis.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtaye told reporters at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting that the government will be able to partially pay the salaries of its employees before the upcoming Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha.

“Palestinian tax revenues are still withheld by Israel and we will have to take loans from the banks to pay the government’s dues to its employees,” said Ishtaye.

He also referred to the Israeli annexation plan of the West Bank saying that “we are aware that the Israeli annexation plan is looming in the horizon and unless Israel officially retracts its plan, this plan constitutes an existential threat to us.”

He added that the Palestinian diplomatic and legal efforts led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas are aimed at stopping this plan and “ending the occupation and establishing an independent, sovereign and viable Palestinian state on the borders of 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

As a result of such efforts, the Palestinians are awaiting a decision in the International Criminal Court over the opening of an inquiry into Israeli actions against the Palestinians, which is likely to be announced very soon.

The Palestinian government has been suffering a severe financial crisis as a result of the U.S. decision to stop funds to Palestine and Israel’s decision to cut off millions of U.S. dollars of tax returns it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority.

According to official sources, the bill of public servants’ monthly salaries costs the Palestinian government 166 million U.S. dollars and 70 percent of it is covered from local tax revenues and tax revenues collected by Israel on its behalf. Enditem

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