The Arab League has pledged to donate $100m a month to the Palestinian Authority to replace money lost by Israel’s blocking of tax transfers earlier this month. Israel, who collects taxes on behalf of the PA, withheld $138 million in transfers over Palestinian payments to political prisoners who have been imprisoned by the apartheid state.
Arab ministers made the new pledge during the last session of the Arab League Council meeting in Cairo yesterday as part of new pledges by the council to support the Palestinian cause, stating that they “confirm that Arab countries will support the Palestinian state’s budget… [to] resist the political and financial pressure it faces”.
Addressing the League, leader of the Palestinian Authority, President Mahmoud Abbas, said that the League must present a united front to reject the impending “deal of the century” that the American Trump regime wishes to force upon the Middle East, adding that the Arab states needed “to be engaging actively at this critical time.”
The League was seemingly receptive, stressing that the Arab states cannot accept any deal that runs counter to international law and stating their concerns that the proposed plan has little chance of success.
“Such a deal would not succeed in achieving a lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East if it did not guarantee the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, first and foremost their right to self-determination and the establishment of an independent and sovereign state on 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.”The Arab League Council
Earlier this month at the Arab League Summit in Tunis, Arab leaders also reiterated their intent to “continue efforts to resume” negotiations for peace in Palestine, King Salman of Saudi Arabia stating Saudi’s support for a future Palestinian state and King Abdullah of Jordan promising he would continue to protect the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Despite their statements, Arab League proclamations are often met with some scepticism by critics who feel that the focus on Palestine has been a “public pleasing” attempt to divert attention away from conflicts such as the ongoing war in Yemen and their own clandestine collaboration with Israel, rather than any determination to effectively oppose American and Israeli policy.
However, perhaps as a sign of changing times in the Middle East, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also recently called for Middle Eastern unity in the face of continuing aggression by the United States and Israel, offering an olive branch to other nations in the region to work together in their shared mutual interests “against the aggressors”.