Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas. (AP/Majdi Mohammed) (AP/Majdi Mohammed)
Mahmoud Abbas

A special report written by the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) reveals a major fraud by the Palestinian Authority (PA) of Western donor countries through which it is reaping, and misusing, more than a billion dollars in foreign aid annually.

In 2014, the PA announced that in order to continue receiving more than a billion dollars in financial support annually, it was acceding to US and European donor countries’ demands that the PA stop paying salaries to terrorist prisoners.

Among the terrorist prisoners on the PA payroll are murderers who are serving many life sentences for killing Israeli civilians and orchestrating suicide bombing attacks, such as Abdallah Barghouti who is serving 54 life sentences for building bombs that murdered civilians in cafes, buses, and at the Hebrew University.

The PA claimed the money for prisoners’ salaries would no longer be paid by the PA, but instead by the PLO.

Even though PMW warned at the time that this was nothing more than a ploy, the US and the EU countries accepted the PA’s assurances, and continue to pay the PA more than a billion dollars in financial aid every year.

The PMW special report cites numerous official PA sources and statements by officials, showing that the PA is violating the trust of the US and the EU. According to all these sources, the PA Ministry of Finance continues to make the decisions and remains the source of the money for paying salaries to terrorist prisoners.

In addition, records of the PA Ministry of Finance show money transfers the PA made to the PLO in the years 2012 – 2015. These transfers show a noteworthy money trail used to transfer money that is used for terrorist salaries from the PA to the PLO.

In 2015, after the PA had assured Western donors it was no longer paying the salaries, and after it had closed the Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs, it suddenly transferred more than double what it had transferred to the PLO in previous years. The additional amount transferred by the PA to the PLO in 2015 was almost identical to the budget the PA Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs used to have. This extra money the PLO received from the PA in 2015 matches the amount the PLO now needed to pay the salaries of terrorist prisoners.

The payments may be made by the PLO, but the money is still PA money, PMW stressed.

“Since it continues to fund salaries to terrorists, thereby clearly violating its promise to donors, the PA should be ineligible to receive Western donor money. However, through this deception the PA is still reaping over a billion dollars in foreign aid,” PMW stated.

To read the detailed report click here.

By: United with Israel Staff

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