The Secret World of the Palestinian Authority
A report published this week offers a rare glance into the secret world of the Palestinian Authority (PA), which was established in 1994 in accordance with the Oslo Accords signed between Israel and the PLO.
Headed by Mahmoud Abbas, the PA has since received billions of dollars in aid from the US, EU and several other donor countries.
However, the failure of the donors to demand accountability and transparency from the Palestinian Authority has deprived Palestinians of a significant part of the funds. It has also encouraged Palestinian leaders to continue pocketing millions of dollars, enriching their private and hidden bank accounts.
One would have expected the Western donors to have woken up and noticed that Palestinian leaders are misusing the taxpayer money they send.
One would have expected the Americans and Europeans to come to Abbas and his cronies, bang on the table, and demand that they start using and investing money for the welfare of their people, and not for their friends and family members.
The report, published by the Coalition For Accountability And Integrity (AMAN), established in 2000 by a number of civil society organizations working in the field of democracy, human rights, and good governance, shows that the Western donors have learned nothing from their past mistakes.
The report also shows that the Palestinian Authority remains the same corrupt body it has been since its inception more than twenty years ago.
Under Yasser Arafat, the PA was plagued with widespread corruption and mismanagement. His successor, Mahmoud Abbas, has followed in this tradition and, despite his repeated promises, the Palestinian Authority remains as corrupt as ever.
Why should Abbas and his associates work to improve the living conditions of their people if those who are pouring billions of dollars on them continue to turn a blind eye to financial and administrative corruption in the PA they are funding?