Anger at Palestinian ministers' secret 67% pay rises

The UN has condemned the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority after it emerged that ministers in the previous cabinet secretly gave themselves 67% pay rises.

Leaked documents showed their monthly salaries were increased in 2017 from $3,000 (£2,360) to $5,000 (£3,930).

UN Middle East peace envoy Nickolay Mladenov said such moves “defy logic and anger people” when Palestinians were struggling with economic hardship.

Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh had agreed to end the practice, he added.

Mr Shtayyeh – an economist who took office in April – has also ordered an investigation, during which ministers will reportedly receive half their salaries.

In an interview with the New York Times published on Wednesday, Mr Shtayyeh warned that the PA was in such dire financial straits that it was “in a collapsing situation” and could be bankrupt by July or August.

The financial crisis was exacerbated this February by a dispute with israel over the transfer of tax and tariff revenues it collects on the PA’s behalf.

israel announced it would freeze the transfer of about $139m (£109m) – an amount it said was equal to that paid by the PA in 2018 to families of Palestinians jailed by Israel or killed while carrying out attacks.

Israeli officials say the payments incentivise terrorism. But the PA insists they are welfare payments for relatives of prisoners and “martyrs”.

The PA responded to the freeze by refusing to accept any further Israeli revenue…

Continue Reading This Article At BBC News

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