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Minister: PA can't afford road repairs

Feb. 14, 2013 12:41 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 14, 2013 8:28 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Authority cannot afford to repair unusable roads in the West Bank, the minister of public works said Wednesday.

The ministry has only $10 million of the $100 million needed annually to maintain the West Bank road network, Maher Ghneim told Ma'an.

The US government had previously financed road development in Palestine, but stopped financing the PA as punishment for the UN's admission of Palestine as a non-member state in November, Ghneim noted.

The sanctions put an end to a project to widen Qalandiya road, which connects Ramallah to the southern districts, he said, noting that all development plans must be approved by Israel.

Israeli military activity in the West Bank has damaged some roads, and Palestinians have also damaged roads through construction, the minister said.

Roads in Area C are difficult to repair as they are located in the 60 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli military control, he added.

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