05 June '12..
A month ago, on May 8, 2012, Reuters published an interview with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad:
Given the task of building institutions in readiness for statehood, Fayyad said his job was being imperiled by a lack of resources, with Arab nations failing to hand over promised aid.
"There is an issue of survivability of the Palestinian Authority given the acute financial crisis we are going through," he said, adding his government needed a "few hundred million dollars" to keep afloat.
Despite the fact that their Arab brothers are withholding their share of aid money, the Palestinian Authority has received billions of dollars in aid from the United States and the European Union. So why is the PA on the verge of collapse? Where has that money gone? According to former PA official Mohammed Rashid, it has been embezzled by PA leaders with President Mahmoud Abbas worth an estimated $100 million.
As Palestinian journalist Khaled Abu Toameh wrote last month, Rashid is himself accused of stealing funds and the PA announced an arrest warrant against him:
The announcement came a day after Rashid appeared on a Saudi-owned TV station and threatened to expose corruption scandals in the Palestinian Authority leadership.
Palestinian leaders in Ramallah, including President Mahmoud Abbas, are deeply concerned that Rashid's revelations could seriously embarrass them and expose their role in the embezzlement of public funds.
PA leaders are not the only culprits. They claim Hamas steals from the Palestinian people as well. In a video posted by MEMRI, the Middle East Media Research Institute, PA Minister for Religious Endowment Mahmoud Habbash described the situation in Gaza on Palestinian Authority TV on March 23, 2012:
There is a fuel crisis because, to put it simply, Hamas hoards the fuel for its own vehicles, and for the convoys and modern cars driven by its so-called "warriors" in plain view of the people.
There is an electricity crisis because, to put it very simply, Hamas charges the people for electricity, but does not pay the suppliers. It pockets the money and distributes it to its "army" of employees, with whom it has swamped the electricity company. These are unnecessary and useless employees.
Hamas stole 800 million dollars from the poor, through front companies for investments. They founded a bank for fraud and deception in Gaza.
In April, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton overruled House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen who tried to put a hold on nearly $150 million in U.S. aid to the Palestinians until some accounting was given as to where the money goes:
"The U.S. has given $3 billion in aid to the Palestinians in the last five years alone, and what do we have to show for it?" Ros-Lehtinen said on Wednesday in a statement to National Journal. "Now the administration is sending even more. Where is the accountability for U.S. taxpayer dollars?"The Congress wants to know where the money goes. No doubt taxpayers would like to know where the money goes. But, is the media interested? Not so much.
Searches turned up a few mentions of the Rashid investigation but nothing about pervasive corruption in the Palestinian leadership. Billions of dollars apparently stolen from the people it is meant to benefit and from the American taxpayers and yet… Where’s the coverage?
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