ANALYSIS: The truth about the PA's economic crisis

A leaked internal PA document revealed that despite the alleged financial woes in the PA, its ministers received a 67 percent salary hike.

Yochanan Visser,

Abbas and senior PA officials
Abbas and senior PA officials
Flash 90
In an interview with The New York Times the new Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh warned that Israel’s deduction of salaries paid to terrorists from the tax revenues it collects for the Palestinian Authority (PA) could lead to the collapse of the PA.

The deduction came into effect earlier this year after the PA refused to cancel its so-called ‘pay to slay’ policy, the payment of monthly stipends to jailed Palestinian terrorists or their families in the case of those killed by Israeli security forces. Mahmoud Abbas refused to accept the remainder of the revenues once the terrorist salaries were deducted.

“We are in a collapsing situation,” Shtayyeh claimed while warning Israel would face a “very hot summer at every level.”

Could it be that the Palestinian PM was referring to the new arson terrorism?

Over the last week several huge blazes which were the work of terrorists were reported in the so-called 'West Bank', that is, Judea, and Samaria.

One of these blazes raged near the Jewish village of Carmei Tzur in the heart of Judea and threatened residents of the community and their houses. Local security forces told this reporter the fire was the work of Palestinian terrorists who routinely throw firebombs across the security fence.

The wave of blazes (1773) which raged in Israel over the past month was in most cases the work of arsonists, the Israeli broadcaster KAN reported this week.

After investigating the cause of these fires, police and the Israeli firefighter brigade determined that 90 percent of the blazes investigated were arson terrorism.

Shtayyeh also threatened to fire the entire police force of the Palestinian Authority and claimed his government could not accept that “our kids in jail are terrorists.”

He then threatened that after the collapse of the PA the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) - the body which was established in 1964 with the explicit goal of destroying Israel - would take-over the territories controlled by the PA (Areas A and B of Judea and Samaria).

“The PLO will run the show “ Shtayyeh told the NYT, indicating that the Oslo accords would be rendered null and void.

He then went on attacking the US Administration over its intention to hold an ‘economic workshop’ in Bahrain whose aim is to improve the economic situation in the PA-controlled territories.

Nothing will come out of it, the Palestinian PM claimed, while referring to previous (failed) attempts to improve living conditions for the Palestinian Arab population.

“Nothing has materialized” Shtayyeh told the NYT.

He sounded a lot like to other prominent PA leaders who recently launched a public relations offensive which blamed the Israeli ‘occupation' for the bad economic situation in Palestinian Arab society.

"Denying the Palestinian Arabs their rights would be “a recipe for further entrenching the Israeli occupation,” Nabil Shaath, international relations adviser to PA-leader Mahmoud Abbas and former PA Minister for Foreign Affairs, wrote in an op-ed for the Israeli leftist paper Ha’aretz two weeks ago.

Shaath, furthermore, claimed that in order for the Palestinian Arabs to reach ‘economic prosperity’ in the area they control, they would have to be able “to control its economy, including its borders, natural resources and electromagnetic sphere, among others.”

Saeb Erekat, the PA’s Chief Negotiator and secretary general of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, concurred in an op-ed for the New York Times.

“There will be no economic prosperity in Palestine without the end of the occupation,” Erekat wrote while again using the old canard that Israel had created an Apartheid system in Judea and Samaria.

Both claims - first, that a lack of international aid and second, that the ‘occupation’ are to blame for the lack of prosperity in Palestinian society are outright lies, and the PA officials know that better than anyone else.

Since its establishment the Palestinian Authority has been turned into a kleptocracy, first by Yasser Arafat and later by Mahmoud Abbas - who is also known among the Palestinian Arab population as ‘the thief’.

Under Abbas' rule billions of dollars simply disappeared, according to pro-Palestinian media and the European Union.

Recently reports emerged about new mafia-like activities in the PA which involved its leader Mahmoud Abbas.

Abbas’ son Yasser was caught financing terror networks belonging to Hamas and Hezbollah and two of his helpers, Arabs not living in the PA-territories, were provided with official PA diplomatic passports by Abbas himself.

The information about these criminal activities came from a leaked secret internal PA document.

A former senior PA official who commented on the new revelations about corruption in the PA said, “corruption is killing the PA, even before Abbas leaves office” while another PA official claimed that PA resources “have become private property and are exploited by a group of corrupt leaders.”

There’s more.

This week media reported that PA-officials were involved in money laundering, fraud, and corruption and had been caught transferring funds to Hamas terrorists training in Malaysia.

Here too, the information came from official PA documents obtained by the Tatzpit news agency (TPS).

The documents showed that Mahmoud Al-Habash, Supreme Shari’ah Judge in the PA and PA head Mahmoud Abbas’ Advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs and Chairman of the Supreme Council for Shari’ah Justice, is in the center of the corruption case.

Al-Habash was aided by Anwar Al-Agha, the PA ambassador in Malaysia. The two set up shell companies which were involved in whitewashing money sent from Dubai to Malaysia where it was used to finance Hamas’ training camps in the country.

Also this week, a leaked internal PA document posted on Facebook revealed that despite the alleged financial woes in the PA, its ministers received a 67 percent salary hike.

The decision was kept secret for two years in order to maintain quiet on the Palestinian Arab street and to keep up the narrative that the PA was about to collapse.

The salary hike was made retroactive to 2014 providing the ministers with a bonus of tens of thousands of dollars, while some of them also received benefits which were meant to enable them to move to Ramallah where the PA has its headquarters.

Another benefit given to the PA ministers was a 17 percent inflated exchange rate when they converted their salaries to Israeli shekels.

So much for the PA financial crisis.




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