PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (L) and his late predecessor Yasser Arafat. (John McConnico/AP archives) (John McConnico/AP archives)
abbas and arafat

Yasser Jadallah, former senior advisor to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, reveals corruption and theft of funds by Abbas himself and other top Palestinian cronies.

By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel

One of the biggest complaints the Palestinians have is actually against the Palestinians.

For years, ordinary Palestinians have complained about official corruption. It started decades ago in Yasser Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organization, where billions of dollars in donated funds disappeared into the PLO-controlled bank accounts. There was no paper trail. There was no accountability.

After the Oslo Accords in 1993 there was hope that the Palestinian Authority that came into office would finally be responsible with money ostensibly destined for the Palestinians. The Europeans and other donor countries kept pushing for transparency while Palestinian leaders always denied there was any corruption, but the Palestinians themselves always knew there was something fishy.

Tens of billions of dollars in donations over the years seemed to be getting them nowhere, and nobody could say for sure where all that money goes.

That fishy feeling got a big confirmation recently when a whistleblower in Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’s office fled to Europe to seek political asylum in Belgium and started revealing what was going on.

The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs recently published a translation of some of the damning comments from Yasser Jadallah, a senior official in President Mahmoud Abbas’ Political Department, confirming what Palestinians and Israelis have been saying for years: There is major corruption related to the theft of funds given to the PA by international organizations.

In a video released by a Palestinian news agency associated with Hamas, which always loves to poke Abbas in the eye, Jadallah claimed that the funds in the Palestinian Ministry of Finance listed under the heading “EU assistance and Arab states” were mostly transferred to the Palestinian presidency and from there to secret accounts known to only three people: Abbas, his private secretary Mrs. Intesar Abu Amara, and Mahmoud Salameh, Deputy Chief of Staff in the PA chairman’s office.

Jadallah claimed the funds disappeared after entering the PA bank accounts and were transferred to accounts with fictitious names, as well as to accounts with the names of Abbas’s grandchildren.

“We have passed this information onto European MPs,” Jadallah said in the video.

Jadallah said Abbas ordered his office accounts to be destroyed every six months, but in reality, they are destroyed every day for “security reasons.”

Before fleeing to Europe, Jadallah said Palestinian security agents abducted him twice and tried to stop him from revealing the corruption.

PA sources denied the allegations and accused Jadallah of being a disgruntled former civil servant trying to settle scores by spreading lies.

Yasser Jadallah’s video was circulated via WhatsApp across the PA-run territories and sparked considerable interest. The PA’s silence on the issue only heightens suspicions that there is substance to the news.

The corruption issue appears to be a key reason why most Palestinians are not interested in a new intifada to fight Israel’s upcoming extension of sovereignty to Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

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