Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas sacked all of his advisers, according to Wafa news agency as reported yesterday.
The Fatah head also ordered former Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and his ministers repay money they received “illegally”. The ministers, Abbas ruled, must repay the moneys in a single payment and not in installments.
The Palestinian Authority has been reeling as a result of a reduction of funding after the US cut aid to a number of Palestinian and international organisations with support Palestine refugees including UNRWA, and also as a result of Israel’s decision to withhold millions in taxes it collects on behalf of the PA which it says are used to pay salaries to the families of Palestinian prisoners.
In spite of this, in 2017 Abbas approved a 67 per cent pay rise for Palestinian Authority (PA) officials – as well as other financial benefits amounting to tens of thousands of dollars – while the West Bank’s economy struggled and swathes of public sector employees spent months with reduced pay.
At the time, Abbas approved pay rises for PA officials, increasing their monthly salaries from $3,000 to $5,000. The prime minister’s monthly salary was raised to $6,000.