Uprising in the Territories is Dependent on Foreign Funds

The Palestine Liberation Organization must pump $600 million per annum into the administered territories to keep the intifada going, Haaretz reported Tuesday, citing a recently published PLO document.

But another report in the newspaper said Israeli bankers claim that continuation of the Palestinian uprising does not require the transfer of foreign money, and they are not at all certain the PLO is making such transfers.

A separate article in Haaretz said that until the uprising began a year ago in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, a substantial portion of the money earmarked for public works in the territories was being used almost openly by the PLO to acquire political power.

The paper said that before the intifada, funds for municipalities and various public institutions came from several sources.

These included the Israeli civil administration budget, some $80 million a year in allocations from Jordan, some $75 million in annual aid from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, and economic assistance from Arab countries, the United States and other foreign sources.

Most of that money went to the leadership and members of organizations that identify with the PLO or other Palestinian nationalist groups, Haaretz said.

Between 1979 and 1983, $7.5 million was paid to compensate Palestinians whose homes were demolished.

Another $7.5 million was spent on “national scholarships.” Some $73 million went for education in the territories and $67 million for housing.

Lesser sums were spent to subsidize workers organizations, community groups, student associations, women’s groups, religious organizations, youth movements and professional organizations, including Arab journalists in East Jerusalem, the report said.

Several months after the outbreak of the intifada, the Defense Ministry clamped down on the entry of funds into the territories.

The civil administration reduced from 2,000 to 200 Jordanian dinars the amount of cash a resident of the territories could bring in over the Jordan River bridges without providing an explanation.

Someone carrying up to 500 Jordanian dinars (approximately $1,000) had no trouble, but those with larger amounts had a hard time re-entering the territories, Haaretz said.

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