Essential services could collapse in the Palestinian territories if the international community carries out its threat to stop financial help once the militant Islamic group Hamas forms a new government, a Palestinian minister has told the BBC. Eighty per cent of the hospitals and clinics in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are state-run. But the government will probably not be able to pay the salaries of doctors, nurses and other civil servants without receiving tens of millions of dollars in budget support every month. Last year the Palestinians received more than $1bn in assistance from the international community, of which more than a third went directly to the government. And this year the government will be even more dependent on foreign aid because the Israelis have announced they are going to stop handing over tax and customs revenue collected on behalf of the Palestinians, worth at least $50m a month. “The message we’re telling [the international community] is to look at the Somali scenario,” said Deputy Finance Minister Jihad Alwazir. “When the Somali government failed in the 1990s it took the international community close to 15 or 16 years to try to stabilise […]

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