Palestinians get interim aid

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Friday, May 12, 2006

The United Nations, the United States, Russia and the European Union have agreed on a "temporary international mechanism" to get aid to the Palestinians for a trial period of three months, to ease financial tensions on the new government led by Hamas.

The Quartet issued a statement after a day of talks in which Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia warned of a civil war if the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority was left to collapse.

"The Quartet expressed its willingness to endorse a temporary international mechanism that is limited in scope and duration, operates with full transparency and accountability," it said.

The Palestinian Authority has been facing a financial crisis since US and EU aid was suspended in April. There has been a large effort from the Muslim world, Particularly Egypt to help raise and fund the Pastinians.

The Palestinian Authority employs some 165,000 people and the UN estimates a quarter of the Palestinian population relies on government salaries. It is estimated that $240 million is needed to cover the PA salaries for March and April.