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Arab States Increase Pressure on Palestinians to Unite; Saudi Arabia Cuts PA Funding

Arab states that the Palestinians turn to for funding to sustain the Palestinian Authority, led by Saudi Arabia, are growing increasingly concerned with the lack of progress in achieving reconciliation between Palestinian factions and the apparent inability to plan for the inevitable transition of power from 81-year old PA President Mahmoud Abbas to a so-far unknown successor. Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt have told Abbas to have elections for parliament and his successor by July 2017, but there is still no indication that it will happen. The Saudis, meanwhile, are reportedly slashing the size of its annual donation to the Palestinian Authority – a costly loss that was once $20 million per month.