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Palestinian finance minister resigns

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March 3, 2013 06:49 AM EST | AP

RAMALLAH, West Bank — The Palestinian finance minister in the West Bank has announced his resignation in a show of frustration over the government's widening budget deficit.

Nabil Qassis told reporters Sunday that the Palestinian Authority's 2013 budget deficit is expected to reach $1.4 billion. He says he decided to step down after politicians and labor unions objected to a number of proposed austerity measures.

The Palestinian Authority, the self-rule government in the West Bank, has been struggling with a financial crisis in recent years due to cuts in aid from the United States, Israeli delays in transferring tax payments and the failure by Arab allies to deliver hundreds of millions of dollars in promised assistance.