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Economy in Gaza and Jericho Slides Since Self-rule Accord

Economic conditions in the Gaza Strip and West Bank Jericho district are worse than they were before the areas fell under Palestinian self-rule last May, said the U.N. official monitoring the state of affairs in the Palestinian self-rule areas.

U.N. official Terje Larssen made the assessment after attending a meeting Tuesday in jericho between Palestinian officials and representatives from international donor countries.

The donor nations had pledged about $700 million in aid to the Palestinian Authority last year. But only some $250 million of those pledges has actually been handed over.

As a result, said Larssen, it is unclear whether the Palestinian Authority will be able to pay the salaries of 22,000 civil servants working in the self-rule areas.

The meeting was held in an effort to secure more financial support for the Palestinian Authority.

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