RAMALLAH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia will give the Palestinian government in the Israeli-occupied West Bank $100 million to help alleviate a worsening budget crisis, the Palestinian president’s office said on Wednesday. President Mahmoud Abbas has struggled to convince Arab countries to deliver a $100 million monthly “safety net” they promised when he secured de facto UN recognition of a Palestinian state in November, prompting Israeli sanctions.

“The state’s budget is facing a large deficit as a result of the docking of Palestinian money by the Israeli government as a punitive step after the UN recognition of Palestine as an observer state,” Abbas said in a statement. The Ramallah-based Palestinian government has been hard-pressed to pay more than $300m in monthly expenditures since Israel announced it would confiscate $100m dollars it collects in customs taxes on their behalf each month.