The Palestinian Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, yesterday [December 17] called for an emergency Arab summit to rescue the Palestinian Authority from financial distress which he said had left it unable to provide services to the Palestinian people, particularly in terms of its ability to pay the salaries of its employees.
In a press meeting held at his offices in Ramallah, Fayyad recalled an initiative proposed by Saudia Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz in 2000 in which he asserted that the Palestinian people were in need of $1 billion and called for an Arab summit to support them. King Abdullah also took the initiative of making a $ 250 million contribution from Saudi Arabia.
Fayyad urged the Arab states to provide the safety net promised to the Palestinian Authority and worth around $100 million dollars a month. He said: "we plead with our Arab brothers, and we call upon them to provide the amount promised as a safety net. In the case of failure to do so, we demand to hold an emergency Arab summit to discuss the Palestinian Authority's financial situation caused by Israel's custody of the customs' funds which amount to between $120-125 million a month."
He added: "we are exposed to an aggression which it is not only a military aggression, but an aggression against our survival. We will not leave a door un-knocked in defence of our right to life."
Fayyad called for a boycott of Israeli products in response to their actions saying, "Up until this point, we have only boycotted settlements products. But now, after the withholding of our money, we call for the boycott of Israeli products despite the violation of agreements signed between the Palestinians and the Israelis."
Referring to the possibility of putting an end to imports from Israel, he went on to say, "This is contrary to the agreements signed with Israel, but the Israeli government does not adhere to any agreements." However, noting that the value of Palestinian imports from Israel amount to $ 4.5 billion annually, he added, "we will fight for our right to life".
Fayyad also said that after Palestine's status was upgraded to that of a Non-member Observer State at the United Nations last month, the PA is now considering joining all UN organizations including the International Criminal Court.
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