President Abbas recently accused Netanyahu's government of causing a ''crippling economic crisis in the Palestinian Authority,''

The PA also said in January it would refuse all further US government aid for fear of lawsuits under new US legislation targeting alleged support for ''terrorism''.

Finance Minister Shukri Bishara announced earlier this month he had been forced to ''adopt an emergency budget that includes restricted austerity measures.''

Government employees paid over 2,000 shekels [$555] will receive only half their salaries until further notice.

Prisoner payments would continue in full, Bishara added.

Nesser Abdel Karim, a Ramallah-based economics professor, told AFP the PA, and the Palestinians economy more generally remain totally controlled by and reliant on Israel.

The PA took similar financial measures in 2012 when Israel withheld taxes over Palestinian efforts to gain international recognition at the United Nations.

Abdel Karim said such crises are ''repeated and disappear according to the development of the relationship between the Palestinian Authority and Israel or the countries that support [the PA].''

Israel occupied the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including now annexed east Jerusalem in the Six-Day-War of 1967 and Abbas's government has only limited autonomy in West Bank towns and cities.

''The problem is the lack of cash,'' economic journalist Jafar Sadaqa told AFP.

He said that while the PA had faced financial crises before, ''this time is different because it comes as a cumulative result of political decisions taken by the United States.''

President Abbas appointed longtime ally Mohhamad Shtayyeh as prime minister in March 10 to head a new government to oversee the crisis.

Abdel Karim believes the crisis could worsen after an Israeli general election next month ''if a more  right-wing Israeli government wins.''

Netanyahu's outgoing government is already regarded as the  most  right-wing in Israel's history but on April 9 parties even further to the right have a realistic chance of winning seats in parliament for the first time.

Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts have been at a standstill since 2014, when a drive for the deal by the administration of President Barrack Obama collapsed in the face of persistent Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank [Agencies]


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