Mahmoud Abbas and President Obama
TEL AVIV – Turkey has been leading a campaign to raise money from the Arab world if U.S. and European funding to the Palestinian Authority is halted in the wake of the PA’s bid to declare statehood at the United Nations, Palestinian security sources told WND.
However, a number of PA officials, speaking to WND on background, said there was no indication either the U.S. or the European Union would withhold financial aid.
Currently, the vast majority of all aid to the PA comes from the U.S. and EU. According to figures released by the PA, only 22 percent of the $530,000,000 received since the beginning of 2010 came from Arab donors.
Still, Turkey has been leading an effort to secure funding from Saudi Arabia and Persian Gulf countries if aid to the PA does dry up, the Palestinian sources said.
While diplomatic efforts are reportedly underway in a last-minute attempt to convince PA President Mahmoud Abbas to abandon his U.N. quest, PA officials told WND they are still going ahead with their request for the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state at a session of the international body on Friday.
In May, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution threatening to suspend financial assistance to the PA if its leaders “persist in efforts to circumvent direct negotiations by turning to the United Nations or other international bodies.”
The resolution called on President Obama to veto a U.N. vote on unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state.
Also, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., the House Foreign Affairs Committee chairwoman, is pushing a bill today that would effectively slash U.S. contributions to the U.N. while punishing any U.N. organization that supports the Palestinians’ statehood bid.