Iran to donate $50 million to Palestinians
The Palestinian Authority will reportedly receive a $50 million donation from Iran to help avoid a financial crisis which currently threatens the Palestinian territories. The move comes in the wake of a decision by Israel, the United States and the European Union to cut off finances from the Hamas-led Palestinian government, elected on March 29.
Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki announced that the donation was viewed as the rightful duty of Iran as a friend of the Palestinians, according to <i>Reuters</i>.
"I am honored to announce that Iran has donated $50 million to help the Palestinian nation," Mottaki stated.
The US, EU and Israel cut off financial aid to Hamas after it refused to recognize Israel's right to exist and to denounce violence, calling the group a "terrorist" organization.
The Palestinian economy depends on some $1 billion a year in foreign aid to function.
Mottaki called on other Muslims around the world to support the Palestinians, saying, "The Islamic world should help the new Palestinian government to overcome its current problems."
Last month, the 22-member Arab League promised some $55 million a month in aid to the PA.
Meanwhile, Syria announced on Sunday the launching of a fundraising campaign for the Palestinians.
Syria's Vice President Farouk Al Shara announced that Syrian citizens would be able to donate money to the Palestinian people.