ANALYSIS: Massive corruption in Gaza and Palestinian Authority exposed

A whistleblower hands over secret files documenting widespread corruption at the top in the PA, while Gazans video the real situation there.

Yochanan Visser ,

Abbas, Arafat
Abbas, Arafat
Reuters
A new scandal involving Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Mahmoud Abbas and his closest advisers erupted this week at the same time that Hamas in Gaza was exposed as a bunch of liars over the narrative that the population in the coastal enclave is starving because of what is falsely portrayed as an Israeli blockade - in reality, non-existent - of the Strip.

A Palestinian Arab whistleblower handed over hundreds of secret files documenting widespread corruption at the top in the PA and shared them with the Belgian government and the European Union.

The man, Yasser Jadalah, the former head of the political department of the PA, said that money donated to the PA by the European Union and Arab countries disappears in secret bank accounts belonging to the grandchildren of Abbas.

Only three people in Abbas’ office knew about the corrupt practice of siphoning off donor money and its transfer it to private bank accounts: Abbas himself, his secretary Intesar Abu Amara and his Deputy Chief of Staff Mahmoud Salameh.

These last two people are very close to Abbas and isolate him from other PA officials, Jadalah said in a video after he asked for political asylum in Belgium.

When heads of other PA departments, such as the security forces, want funds, they must first flatter Abu Amara and Dalameh before they get access to Abbas.

To cover up these criminal actions Abbas ordered all office accounts to be destroyed “for security reasons” every six months but in reality, this happens virtually every day according to Jadalah, who says that agents of Abbas’ secret service are pursuing him and have already tried to harm him several times.

Also this week Abbas ordered thousands of PA files in several Palestinian cities to be hidden in preparation for a possible confrontation with the Israeli military that could invade these cities once the Palestinian Arabs react with a new wave of terror to the implementation of Israeli law in parts of the so-called "West Bank".

The Palestinian Authority has been caught previously conducting illicit activities, such as the smuggling of thousands of smartphones. It also continues the controversial practice of paying monthly stipends to terrorists jailed in Israel and to the families of so-called “martyrs” terrorists who died while carrying out terror attacks against Israelis.

It remains to be seen if the EU will act against the PA after receiving the evidence that European taxpayer money is used for enriching Abbas’ family even further, however.

I used to work with Dutch EU Member of Parliament Paul van Buitenen, who obtained clear cut evidence that former PA leader Yasser Arafat used foreign aid to pay terrorists of the Tanzim militia and of the Al-Aqsa Brigades who were active carrying out murderous terror attacks during the so-called Second Intifada, better known in Israel as the Oslo War.

The Dutch EU politician got this evidence from an Israeli Member of Knesset who obtained it from sources within the Israeli Defense Forces that took part in the Israeli action against Arafat’s headquarters Muqata in Ramallah.

Van Buitenen did everything in his power to get the EU to go after Arafat, but to no avail. He was stonewalled from all sides within the EU and after an uphill battle that lasted for years, the European Union MP resigned in disappointment and had to take a break from politics to recover from his ordeal.

I also worked with IDF Colonel Avi Shalev, the former head of the IDF’s COGAT International relations branch who delivered to me the minutes of meetings of the Joint Israeli Palestinian Water Committee (JWC) and other official files documenting the PA’s lies about an alleged Israeli plot to deprive Palestinian Arabs of water.

In this case too, the Palestinian leaders did everything in their power to deceive the public on the devastating truth about the PA’s corruption in handling the realization of water projects that could have improved the lives of many Palestinian Arabs.

The material I received from Shalev was also sent to EU politicians in Brussels, but they did nothing to hold the PA accountable for its fraudulent and inciting actions.

The same will most likely happen to the files Adalah handed over to the European Union. The organization of European countries is too much obsessed with supposed Palestinian suffering at the hands of the Israeli military to have a moral compass, learn the true facts and to put an end to the misuse of funds provided by the EU and other countries to the PA.

Adalah’s revelation coincided with a report made by Zvi Yehezkeli, the Arab affairs correspondent of Israeli TV Channel 13. Yehezkeli interviewed Palestinian Arabs in the so-called Area C of Judea and Samaria (aka West Bank") who decided to speak their minds about the widespread corruption in the PA.

Many of the interviewees labeled Abbas and his cohorts as “thieves and traitors” who had “devoured” the Palestinian Arabs.

Then there is Hamas in Gaza that does everything in its power to hold-up the narrative of suffering and poverty due to an alleged Israeli blockade of the enclave in Israel’s south, while in reality, Israel only prevents weapons from entering the area and ensures adequate supplies of all other products.

This week, several Israeli news outlets published a story about what is really happening in Gaza where roughly 50 percent of the workforce is jobless.

There is, it seems, another story to tell about the situation in Gaza where Hamas just received $50 million of Qatari aid that is supposed to support poor families. Hamas, however, is controlling the cash hand-outs and in this case as well, money is siphoned off and then diverted to the Izz-a-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military arm of Hamas.

A Twitter activist by the name of Imshin succeeded in convincing ordinary Gazans to take pictures and to film videos of fancy new projects in Gaza that show there is another story to tell about life in the Strip.

Every few weeks a new mall, hotel, restaurant or a fancy clothes store is opened in Gaza where mostly Hamas members are spending time as well as other Palestinian Arabs.

Hamas now tries to stop the spread of this narrative by threatening residents of Gaza with arrest or even jail time if they continue to post these images on social media.




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