February 7, 2006
Dear Funding for Peace Coalition member,
This newsletter reports on important new revelations from the Palestinian Authority, as detailed by the PA Attorney-General himself. We ask for your action.
For a long time, our politicians and civil servants have strenuously resisted accountability for funds they allocated to the Palestinians. Letters that you have shared with us demonstrate an almost desperate sense of denial of any possible abuse.
The Palestinian man in the street knew the truth. As Matt Rees, Time Magazine's correspondent in Jerusalem, told the Funding for Peace Coalition two years ago, if you ask a Palestinian what is the root of his problems, he will quickly use the word "occupation". If you dig a little deeper, the phrases of nepotism, corruption and autocracy come rushing through. In the first election with a real alternative to the Fatah kleptocracy, Hamas was swept to power. Its main platform was cleaning out the corruption of the old guard.
Within days of the election results, Palestinian Attorney-General, Ahmed al-Meghaman called a press conference. He revealed a previously suppressed internal Palestinian report, which detailed a trail of sleaze involving expenditures of the Palestinian Authority (PA). Theft of $700m has been proven, with suspicion that the final figure will be measured in the billions.
Of course, 25% of the PA budget is funded from international donations. It is of no comfort or consequence that this abuse of the taxpayers' money and confidence has been detailed in the reports and website of the Funding for Peace Coalition for some years. It is of concern that this abuse taints all funding; whether paid directly or indirectly to the Palestinian Authority, to NGOs, Trust Funds, UN Agencies or other bodies.
We ask you now: Please revert to politicians, public servants and the media, demanding that effective immediately, all future funding of the Palestinian cause be dispersed with full transparency and accountability.
A summary of the latest revelations has been posted on our website, at http://www.eufunding.org.uk/accountability/CorruptionInvestigation.html
Left: Yasser Arafat
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