The Palestinian Authority has just discovered what every (Arab) Palestinian child knows — that hundreds of millions of dollars had been embezzled during the era of Yasser Arafat. The “discovery”, however, was not the result of a thorough and long investigation ordered by Palestinian leaders in Ramallah with the hope of restoring public funds (or by international donors).
Instead, it came after one of Arafat’s most trusted aides, Mohammed Rashid, threatened to expose corruption scandals in the Palestinian Authority. For many years, Rashid served as Arafat’s financial advisor and was given a free hand to handle hundreds of millions of dollars that were poured on the PA.
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The PA’s Anti-Corruption Commission in Ramallah announced that it has issued an arrest warrant against the former Arafat advisor and asked Interpol for help in bringing him to trial. 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.
PA 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 (generously given by Americans and Europeans)…
Abbas is saying that Rashid stole hundreds of millions of dollars, while Rashid is accusing the president of embezzling “only” $100 million. This is happening at a time when international donors are continuing to channel more funds every month to the Palestinian Authority, often without holding its leaders accountable or demanding to know how the money is being spent. (Almost 31 billion dollars have been ‘donated’ to the PA to facilitate the destruction of Israel!)
This article was first published at Gatestone institute, by Khaled Abu Toameh