Palestinian leader fires advisers, wants bonuses returned

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has laid off all of his advisers and ordered a former prime minister and other ex-Cabinet ministers to return tens of thousands of dollars from a pay raise he secretly approved two years ago.

Palestinian officials said the decisions, announced in official statements Monday, came as part of efforts to cut costs and recuperate funds after Israel stopped delivering tax revenues earlier this year.

The Palestinian Authority, which governs parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, has long faced charges of corruption and mismanagement.

Abbas has cycled through dozens of advisers over the years, with many continuing to receive salaries and benefits after leaving office. The officials say Abbas will reinstate some advisers in the coming days. They spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

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