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China to offer Palestinian Authority $15 million in aid

Chinese President Xi Jinping says in a meeting with Saudi Arabian officials that China will soon extend an offer of aid to the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority, which is in financial straits following sanctions over its payments to terrorists and their families.

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas chairs a meeting of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in the West Bank city of Ramallah on April 4, 2016. Photo by Flash90.
Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas chairs a meeting of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in the West Bank city of Ramallah on April 4, 2016. Photo by Flash90.

China intends to offer the Palestinian Authority an aid package amounting to $15 million, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced on Tuesday.

Xi announced his plans to offer the Palestinians assistance during the 8th Ministerial Meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum in Beijing, but did not mention whether the aid would be earmarked for a specific purpose or conditional in any way.

In the past few years, China has been on a push to expand its investments in the Middle East and Africa. In 2016, China gave the Palestinians $6.7 million to develop a solar-energy infrastructure.

An infusion of funds from Beijing would be a welcome boon to the P.A. after Australia announced last week it would be stopping direct aid to the P.A. because it continued to pay salaries to terrorists and their families. U.S. aid money to the Palestinians is expected to be slashed once the Taylor Force Act—legislation that blocks American aid to the P.A. as long as the latter disburses funds to terrorists and their families—takes effect.

Earlier this month, the Knesset passed a law allowing the Israeli government to deduct an amount equivalent to what the P.A. pays out to terrorists from the tax funds it collects on behalf of the P.A. government.

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