Looks like the Palestinian Authority is running out of money. (Fortunately Arafat is still a billionaire, so maybe he can lend some of that money back.... One way to tell if you're an illegitimate head-of-state: you're average when you take office, and a billionaire when you quit/die/&c. Which we can only hope will happen to Arafat soon. Ok, this paranthetical is long enough now.)

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) -- Hit by waning support from fatigued donor nations, the Palestinian Authority has been forced to borrow from banks to pay salaries to its 125,000 employees and may be unable to meet its February payroll, the economy minister said Tuesday.
Yikes! The population of "Palestine" is around 3.3 million (sorry for the Jewish source, but I don't see why they'd be biased, and it lines up with what I'm pretty sure is right), a little more than 1% the size of the US. According to the American Federation of Government Employees, there are 1.75 million federal government employees in the United States, which means that 0.6% of Americans work for the government, while 3.8% of Palestinians work for the Palestinian Authority. No wonder they're going bankrupt!

Maybe they should try relying less on "donors" and actually -- I don't know -- build an economy of their own. Nah, that's no fun.



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