By ISRAEL TODAY—
Over the past four years, the Palestinian Authority has managed to “lose” well nearly $3 billion in financial aid from Europe, according to a report by the European Court of Auditors that was leaked to Britain’s Sunday Times.
The news comes just days after Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas publicly blamed Israel for his regime’s economic woes.
The European Court of Auditors is an organ set up by the European Union to monitor income and spending by member states. In its report, the court revealed that $2.7 billion in direct aid to the Palestinians between 2008 and 2012 could not be accounted for. What’s more, EU investigators who visited Jerusalem and the so-called “West Bank” were unable to access information or speak to Palestinian officials regarding suspected corruption.
Of course, this comes as no surprise to the Palestinians themselves. In a survey published last month by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, 79 percent of respondents said the Abbas government is corrupt to the point of being ineffective.
Late last year, the Jerusalem Institute of Justice launched a campaign to pressure foreign governments to stop sinking money into a Palestinian government whose overt corruption is only making peace and prosperity a more distant goal than ever.
In its initial presentation, the JIJ noted that per capita, the Palestinian Authority has received 25 times more aid than did Europe in the years following World War II.
“Poverty in the Palestinian areas could have been eradicated years ago,” wrote JIJ founder and director Calev Myers on his Facebook page. “The Palestinian people should be outraged by this. So should Americans and Europeans.”