Sharp Drop of Jordanian Dinar Causes Panic in the West Bank

There was panic in the money markets of the West Bank on Tuesday, as a result of the sharp devaluation of the Jordanian dinar, a major currency of the territory.

The dinar sank to a new low Tuesday, selling for 1.9 shekels, compared to 2.3 a day before and 5.8 shekels a year ago.

Blame for the devaluation can be pinned on Jordan’s economic malaise. The decline of the dinar is threatening the economic stability of the West Bank, according to Yediot Aharonot.

The economic woes come as the West Bank marks the first anniversary of King Hussein’s withdrawal of financial responsibility for the territory.

Last July 30, Hussein announced he would no longer pay the salaries of civil service workers and was leaving financial and administrative responsibilities in the West Bank to the Palestine Liberation Organization.

In recent months, the unified national leadership of the Palestinian uprising has attempted to fight the dinar’s decline by setting a fixed rate of 3 shekels to the dinar.

However, despite threats, money changers and business owners have not complied with the venture.

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