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Palestinian budget excludes Gaza, unless it toes the line

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas ratified the 2018 public budget — which includes a controversial, quid pro quo clause regarding funds for the Gaza Strip — without obtaining the proper approval, raising questions about the Palestinian Authority’s desire to achieve reconciliation.
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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Hamas is rejecting the Palestinian Authority's 2018 public budget, which President Mahmoud Abbas approved this month. Some legislators believe the budget is illegal.

The budget was submitted to the government of national consensus and ratified Feb. 27, without being presented to the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) as required by law. The government merely presented the budget to a number of parliamentary bloc members, prompting PLC First Deputy Speaker Ahmed Bahar to denounce the process and assert that the budget is illegitimate. In a Feb. 28 news conference, he also called for the government to resign.

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