Report: Palestinian Authority wants $5 billion to build state

JERUSALEM (JTA) – The Palestinian Authority is asking Western countries for nearly $5 billion in order to develop a Palestinian state.

PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad was set to make the pitch to representatives of Western countries during a meeting Wednesday in Brussels, Reuters reported.

The plan, obtained by Reuters, calls for $1.467 billion in 2011, $1.754 billion in 2012 and $1.596 billion for 2013. It reportedly will be presented formally to donor countries at a pledging conference in June.

"The journey has been long and arduous, but the end is now in sight. We are now in the home stretch to freedom," Fayyad wrote in the plan’s introduction, according to Reuters. "Now it is time for us to be the masters of our own destiny in a state of our own."

The plan calls for a private sector-led economy and increasing spending on development.

A United Nations report issued Tuesday found that the Palestinian Authority is ready to operate as a sovereign government by September, the target date of independence for a Palestinian state. Similar declarations came last week from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund

The Palestinian Authority has said it will ask the United Nations in September to declare an independent state on all areas captured by Israel in 1967. Israel continues to insist that the only path to statehood is to restart peace negotiations, which the Palestinians walked out on last September. 

The U.N. report said a restart of peace talks is necessary to continue the reform process. 
 

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