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Report: Israel urges US, EU to send funds to Ramallah

Sept. 11, 2012 4:56 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 12, 2012 7:38 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Israeli government has appealed to Washington and the EU to transfer hundreds of millions of dollars to rescue the collapsing Palestinian economy amid mass protests in the West Bank, Israeli media reported Tuesday.

Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has said the Palestinian Authority is unable to pay August salaries in full or on time because donor funds have not arrived. He said last week the PA was waiting for the US Congress to approve a request by President Barack Obama's administration to pay $200 million to the Ramallah government.

The Hebrew-language newspaper Maariv said the European Union had reduced its financial aid to the PA due to economic crisis in Europe.

Protests against rising costs of living in cities across the West Bank have called for the resignation of Fayyad and President Mahmoud Abbas, and demanded the cancellation of the PA's economic agreement with Israel, the Paris Protocol.

In Hebron and Nablus on Monday night, protesters threw rocks at PA security forces and dozens of security officers and demonstrators were injured.

Israel fears that demonstrations and strikes in cities across the West Bank against rising costs of living could weaken the PA and its security services, which coordinate with Israeli forces under agreements laid out in the Oslo Accords, Maariv reported.

Israeli officials fear protests could develop into a third intifada and the collapse of the PA, and protesters might attack Israel's illegal settlements in the West Bank, the report added.
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