Palestinians Ask Arabs for Advance on Promised Intifada Cash
The Palestinians asked Arab League members Monday for an advance of 100 million dollars from the money pledged at an Arab summit in October, participants at a follow-up conference said.
"The Palestinian delegation to the summit follow-up committee asked for an urgent advance for the Palestinian people, who are continuing their uprising, sacrificing their blood and suffering material damage," Faruq Qaddumi, the head of the Palestinian Liberation Organization's political department, told reporters here.
An Arab diplomat attending the Damascus meeting of the follow-up committee said the Palestinians were asking for 100 million dollars.
At the October 21-22 summit in Cairo, Arab leaders promised a total of one billion dollars for the Palestinians.
The money was to be divided into two funds: one dedicated to preserving the Arab character of Israeli-occupied east Jerusalem and the other set up to assist families of the nearly 300 "martyrs" of the uprising that erupted in late September.
But the Islamic Development Bank said Sunday it had so far received only 31.5 million dollars of the promised billion.
Of the cash in the bank's hands, 30 million dollars of it came from Saudi Arabia and is geared toward the Jerusalem fund. The other 1.5 million dollars was sent by Egypt for the Intifada fund, from which the Palestinians want the 100 million dollar advance.
Arab League Secretary General Esmat Abdel Meguib is meeting in Damascus with seven Arab foreign ministers -- from Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, the Palestinian territories, Syria and Tunisia -- DAMASCUS (AFP)
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