The Arab League Secretary Nabil al-Araby and Egyptian Foreign Minister Muhammed Amer arrived in Ramallah Saturday for talks with Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas. They are discussing the League’s pledge of $100 million to bridge the Palestinian budget’s shortfall, which is partly accounted for by Israel withholding tax receipts in reprisal for Abbas’ unilateral application to the UN.  DEBKAfile: The bulk of the deficit comes from the failure of Arab and European donor-governments to meet their pledges of financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority.

The Palestinians also claimed the two visitors arrived aboard a Jordanian helicopter from Amman to avoid going through an Israeli border station. DEBKAfile: Anyway, the Jordanian helicopter would have had to obtain clearance from the Israel Air Force and submitted a list of passengers before being allowed to land in Ramallah under the guidance of Israeli air controllers.