A secret pay raise by Cabinet angers Palestinian public

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — The Palestinian labor market in the West Bank was limping along in 2017, with unemployment stubbornly high and economic growth slowing. But that didn’t stop the Palestinian Cabinet from secretly giving itself a series of lavish payouts and perks, highlighted by a 67% salary hike.

After the decision was kept quiet for two years, news of the Cabinet decision leaked this week in a series of documents posted anonymously to social media.

The revelations rocked the West Bank, where the cash-strapped government has been forced to slash employee salaries because of a financial crisis. Coming during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, a time of high expenses for struggling families, the report renewed outrage among Palestinians who have long seen their leadership as out of touch and rife with corruption.