Palestinian PM says he can’t pay civil servants because Israeli sanctions starting to bite

RAMALLAH, West Bank — Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad says he will be unable to pay the the salaries of tens of thousands of civil servants, as Israeli economic sanctions start to bite.

Israel decided last month to suspend the monthly transfer of about $100 million in tax revenues it collects on behalf of Fayyad’s Palestinian Authority. The transfers, along with foreign aid, are crucial for keeping Fayyad’s government afloat. Nearly one-third of the close to 4 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza depend on public sector salaries.

Fayyad told reporters Sunday that the sanctions have a “devastating impact” on the Palestinian economy.

Israel suspended the transfers in retaliation for Palestinian attempts to win international recognition for a state of Palestine.

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( / 27.11.2011)

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