PA Finance Minister: I Don't Know Where Aid Money Goes
PA Finance Minister: I Don't Know Where Aid Money Goes

The incoming Finance Minister of the Palestinian Authority has admitted that hundreds of millions of dollars transferred to the PA have “disappeared.”

Salam Fayed, who formerly worked for the World Bank and the US Federal Reserve, told the Daily Telegraph that he has no idea where the more than $700 million granted the PA since the Hamas terror group rose to power has gone.

“Palestinian Authority spending is out of control, salaries are being paid to workers who never turn up, and nobody can track where the money is going,” the paper quoted Fayyad as saying.

The report even quoted Fayed pleading with the reporter to, "Please write this: no one can give donors assurance [that their money is not going to finance Hamas terrorism]. Why? Because the system is in a state of total disrepair."

Though Hamas has faced a supposed international boycott since it trounced PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah group in PA parliamentary elections, the report says the PA actually experienced an increase in foreign aid since the Islamist victory. “Ironically, foreign aid to Palestinians increased, either carried across the border into Gaza in cash-stuffed briefcases by Hamas officials, or through a special financial channel to the office of President Mahmoud Abbas,” the report states.

A World Bank report released just days ago says that the PA’s number of government jobs has risen by a whopping 11 percent a year. Under Hamas, government jobs include the establishment of several semi-official armed groups made up of terrorists from the faction.

Fayed, who is being appointed Finance Minister as part of a Hamas-Fatah power-sharing deal designed to renew the flow of international aid, is far from optimistic about his ability to reform the system. “This will be extremely difficult,” he said, his house surrounded by armed Fatah men assigned to protect him from Hamas factions demanding various funds and perks. “It’s virtually impossible.”

Shabak (General Security Service) Chief Yuval Diskin and IDF intelligence chiefs have testified before the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in recent weeks and months saying that the PA has been stockpiling massive amounts of weapons. The weapons are purchased and supplied by Iran and smuggled in through the Gaza-Egyptian border.

Analyst Michael Freund says Fayed’s admission proves what many have been calling upon the international community to understand for a long time. “Sending aid to the Palestinian Authority is a recipe for disaster,” he writes. “Instead of benefiting those it is intended to help, much of the money, as Mr. Fayyad pretty much admits, ends up lining the pockets of corrupt Palestinian officials. Just another reason for Israel and the West to stop aiding the PA now. There is no reason to continue propping up the corrupt Palestinian regime.”

Click here to read Freund’s commentary on his Arutz-7 blog, Fundamentally Freund.