The Palestinians barely produce anything. Most of their GDP comes from government expenditures by the PA itself.
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has been crowned “the Palestinian Ben-Gurion. However, the he Palestinians barely produce anything. Most of their GDP comes from government expenditures by the PA itself.
The Palestinians receive immense sums donated by the world. Tax collection is almost unheard of, aside from the taxes collected by the Israeli government, which provides the PA with roughly USD 120 million monthly, comprising about 40 per cent of the PA’s budget.
The situation is even more extreme in Gaza, where the PA spends 57 per cent of its budget. Fayyad hands over salaries and allowances to 150,000 people, yet tens of thousands of them don’t work, while others receive two salaries: one from Fayyad and another from Hamas.
About two years ago, the World Bank demanded that Fayyad not only cut down PA salaries (no results thus far), but also that he minimize the second-highest PA budget clause: Payments aimed at covering electricity and water bills which PA residents refuse to pay. The accumulated electricity debt of Gaza residents stands at USD 2.7 billion. This constitutes about 8 per cent of the PA’s budget.
Two years ago, Fayyad attempted to force PA residents to present proof of payment on their electricity bills before receiving government allowances. The PA’s «public service sector» immediately embarked on a warning strike, and Fayyad backed down.
A few months ago, Hamas stopped handing over to the Palestinian fuel authority the sums of money collected from Gaza residents who do pay for electricity. This was the reason for the latest fuel crisis in Gaza.
Fayyad is the most moderate guy in the PA leadership. But he has no base of support, isn’t a Fatah member, and doesn’t really represent Palestinian thinking. He is in office only to keep Western donors happy. He knows his Fatah bosses, Palestinian constituents, and Hamas enemies would throw him out if he offered the slightest concession to Israel and demanded any less than everything they want.
Source: Ynet news and Jerusalem Post
First published February 1oth, 2010.