Palestinians score big at Paris donors conference

Tuesday, December 18, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

The Palestinian Authority walked away from Monday's donors conference in Paris with a full wallet, after 70 participating nations pledged $7.4 billion over three years toward advancing the Palestinian cause.

Palestinian Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad called the outcome a vote of confidence in the Palestinian Authority, despite the fact that the past decade saw Palestinian leaders siphon off much of $9 billion in foreign aid.

Fayyad announced that with the help of international peace envoy and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the funds will be used to rebuild a Palestinian economy crippled by corruption and years of violence directed at Israel.

The conference was also used as a platform to again condemn Israel for building new apartments on the eastern side of Jerusalem, which the Palestinians claim as the capital of their hoped-for future state.

World powers unabashedly took the Palestinian side, insisting that the construction of Jewish homes in Jerusalem is an affront that is undermining peacemaking efforts.

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