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Saudi Arabia reduces its financial support to Jerusalem

October 3, 2018 at 12:46 am

Muslims attend the 1 Muharram 1440 Hijriah celebrations marking Islamic new year at the Al-Aqsa Compound in Jerusalem, on 11 September, 2018 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

Saudi Arabia has reduced its financial support to Jerusalem.

A Jerusalemite official told Al-Khaleej Online that during the past two months, Saudi Arabia has started reducing all humanitarian, educational, and relief projects it used to oversee in the Holy City. He suggested that this reduction is part of “Riyadh’s penalty for their objection of the Deal of the Century”.

Islamic Development Bank, based in Jeddah, also decided to reduce its financial support to the city to $7 million from $ 60 million.

The official pointed out that they tried to inquire about the reason for this sudden decline in the Saudi role in Jerusalem. They were told it was because of the “financial crisis Saudi Arabia is currently facing.”

According to the same official, the people of Jerusalem considered that an “unconvincing” justification, considering that funds have been already allocated to the projects overseen by Riyadh and funded by the Islamic Development Bank.

Read: The bankrupt Saudi discourse

He added at the end of the interview with Al-Khaleej Online that this suspension is part of the economic and political siege imposed on the Holy City and its inhabitants by Israel and some supporting Arab countries. He explained that the Saudi role, which he described as “suspicious,” is still pressuring and influencing the population of the city to adopt and support its political positions, especially concerning the US “Deal of the Century” and friendliness with Israel.

According to an annual report issued last year by Al-Quds International Institution (QII), the policies of the occupation, led to an increase in the poverty rate among Jerusalem residents to 82 per cent, while the rate among families reached 76 per cent. The percentage of unemployment among Jerusalemites, in general, has reached about 31 per cent, while this rate has reached 25 per cent among young Jerusalemite university graduates.

320 thousand Palestinians live in East Jerusalem, constituting 36 per cent of Jerusalem’s total population. In contrast, some 200 thousand settlers are living in the East of Jerusalem.