Palestinian Authority facing salary crisis following Israeli tax cuts 

PNN/ Bethlehem/

The Palestinian Authority announced today that it will pay around 60% of the monthly salaries for its employees after Israel cut $137 million of tax revenues which should be passed to it.

The cut, made on 17 February, came as a punitive measure because PA provides salaries to prisoners in Israeli jails and their families, whom Israel calls ‘terrorists’ while holding in their own jails.

Palestinian Minister of Finance, Dr. Shukri Bishara, in a special press conference today said that at least 50% of employees’ salaries will be paid today (for those whose monthly salary exceeds 2000 Shekels, approximately 550 USD.) Meanwhile, salaries under that amount will be fully paid.

Bishara added that the payments will be made according to priority (depending on salaries and loans), in addition, he announced the suspension of appointments, promotions, the purchase of real estate and cars, the rationing of travel allowances and a number of decisions to ease the financial crisis.

Bishara also said that the PA would borrow $50 million a month from banks during the coming period.

For his part, Presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said this coming period will be difficult, complex and dangerous and may call for more serious political measures.