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PINCHED PALESTINIANS GET RELIEF - $42 MILLION IN INTERNATIONAL PLEDGES

SHARE PINCHED PALESTINIANS GET RELIEF - $42 MILLION IN INTERNATIONAL PLEDGES

Facing a severe cash-flow problem just as they begin administering Gaza and Jericho, Palestinian authorities obtained some relief Friday as international donors pledged an additional $42 million worth of aid to cover start-up costs.

Nabil Shaath, who headed the Palestinian delegation in a two-day meeting with donors, said the outcome was "much better than expected" and would help set up a Palestinian national authority "that can survive on its own."Shaath said he was hopeful that another $35 million worth of emergency aid would be pledged at another donors' meeting scheduled to be held in Paris on July 10 and 11. "I think they understand the timing of the aid is as important as the amount," he added.

A detailed breakdown of the new aid was not made available, but Shaath said the United States, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Canada and Japan had all contributed additional resources. He added that the 12-nation European Union, which has already pledged $600 million through 1999, was still the largest donor.

The chairman of the meeting this week was Jan Egeland, Norway's deputy foreign minister, whose government helped broker the peace accord between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization. Israel also sent Uri Savir, a senior foreign ministry official, to support the Palestinian case.

"We believe the Palestinian side has created the necessary conditions for progress," Savir said at a news conference. "We need the economic ingredient to make the Palestinian authority a success. This is a boost for the Palestinian economy and for continuing the peace process."