Gets 200 million USD from Clinton. Blames budget deficit on Israel

The PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said the budget shortfall is caused by Israeli restrictions on the Palestinian economy, and the failure of some donors to make good on their pledges.

The US hand that feads the tief. Hillary Clinton and Salam Fayjad
The US hand that feeds the thief. Hillary Clinton and Salam Fayyad

The United States has transferred 200 million USD to the Arab Palestinians to help ease their government’s growing budget crisis. The transfer is only part of a 900 million USD package Clinton pledged to the Palestinians at a donors conference in March.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced the aid with the Palestinian prime minister, Salam Fayyad, on Friday. The Palestinian Authority’s budget deficit is growing, and it has borrowed hundreds of millions of dollars from commercial banks to cover the government payroll.

Source: Associated Press (AP) and the magazine Israel Today

My comment:

The budget deficit has nothing to do with Israel. But rather outright theft or misappropriation of funds. There is also faulty administration and a bloated public payroll. One of the chief consumers of funds in the chronically deficit-ridden Arab Palestinian budget is the «police force» that exceeds two per cent of the population. This is size far above the limits imposed by the Oslo agreements, a force that is armed with weapons that are illegal under those agreements.

There are many documented reports of rampant corruption and misuse of funds within the Palestinian Authority and its related governmental bodies. For example, in 1997, the PA received 548 million USD from the international donor community. It also received more than 800 million USD in tax revenues collected by Israel from Palestinian Arabs. At the end of 1997 the PA released its annual financial report. 323 million USD, nearly 40 per cent of the annual budget was «missing».

An investigation by Newsweek in 2000, on the brink of the Camp David talks, revealed abuses at almost every level of the Arab Palestinian Authority.

«Arafat runs a mafia state»

Arafat«Many top ministers staff their offices with cronies, dole out valuable contracts without oversight and create their own monopolies, which crush competition and drive up prices paid by hard-pressed consumers. The courts are powerless because Arafat simply ignores any inconvenient rulings. His 14 separate police forces enforce the whims of PA officials rather than laws aimed at protecting ordinary Palestinians. «It’s a mafia state», says Abdul Jawad Saleh, a former Agriculture minister who was beaten by security forces recently for leading an anticorruption protest».

Source: Newsweek, the year 2000.

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