A friend living in the UK has tried to warn leaders of the UK and EU for years, of the irresponsible handling of the funds donated to the PA by the UK and Europe.
Below is his letter listing his attempts to raise awareness of fraud and yet until today no-one seems to care or even listen. And whose money was it? - why the taxpayer of course!
We all know that money drives people to throw out integrity and that greed overwhelms many in authority leading them to ignore the needs of their own community. However sometimes money is divested or stolen for a Political reasons to manipulate circumstances. As far as the Palestinian Authorities, whether HAMAS or FATAH, all three of these reasons are applicable and the third, the Political intention, is to discredit Israel. The theft of aid funds for all these reasons is something which I have been keen to bring into the open because not only does it prevent ordinary people receive help but it helps form a view that Israel is the cause of poverty amongst Palestinian Arabs.
In 2003 I wrote to my MP raising concerns about the divestment of European funds given to the Palestinian Arab Authorities in particular Yasser Arafat who I alleged had stolen a minimum of 560 million dollars of aid given to help the Palestinian people. I received a letter in reply from Baroness Symons Head of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in February 2004 as follows;
“The EU commissioner for external affairs, Chris Patten, has made it clear that “there is no case for stating that EU money has financed terrorism”. Indeed a working group based on the New York Council on Foreign Relations commented that EU payments were subject to “the most extensive and intrusive monitoring system in any post-conflict situation. The European Commission attaches strict conditionality to the direct budgetary assistance provided to the Palestinian Authority (PA). The conditions reinforce the need for transparency on the PA’s public finances, strengthening the prudent management of the budget, and encouraging progress on overall financial and administrative reform. We are satisfied that the EC, with the assistance of the IMF, is ensuring the conditions are met”.
The then head of Palestinian Arab terror Yasser Arafat died in November of that year leaving a $1.3 Billion dollar fortune and thousands of Palestinian Arabs hungry. Where did that money come from?????
In November 2006 I gave evidence to a House of Parliament Select Committee as follows;
Para. 50. Finances given by both Government and non-government organisations have historically been proven to be misappropriated by Palestinian Officials in such sums that there is increasing poverty amongst the Palestinians.
51. Finances from aid organisations who are, in some cases, using partner organisations to deliver them, are often diverted and are being used to fuel violence and abuse children by incorrect and inhumane methods of teaching.
52. The teaching in the schools and particularly in the summer camps is simply planting the seeds of hatred in the children of a Nation and would never be accepted in Britain. The intention is that, for the foreseeable future, there will be a hatred of the Jewish people by Palestinians.
53. Some of those finances are also being used to promulgate information which is unbalanced and favours the Palestinians to the detriment of Israeli’s who are also suffering.
54. Finances from some charitable organisations held here in the UK are being directed towards such organisations as HAMAS who are clearly responsible for the deaths of many innocent Israeli’s and by their own admission are the perpetrators of the continued barrage of rocket attacks against Sderot.
55. We should understand that terrorism is the key issue affecting poverty amongst the Palestinians and Israeli’s alike. It should be made perfectly clear that neither suggestions of poverty or impoverishment will be accepted nor that there is no vindication for acts of hatred. The teaching of such hatred should also be highlighted and openly condemned.
56. Both Jews and Arabs should be considered equally by those organisations charged with the responsibilities of helping the impoverished. To this end an enquiry should be carried out that looks at the issues surrounding the decline in the economy in places such as Sderot and its effects, in order to allow organisations to distribute finances in a more balanced and fair way.
57. All efforts should be made for monies that have been given to the Palestinian’s to help fund their needs, but which have been misappropriated, to be recovered and reintroduced. There should be International condemnation of the perpetrators in an effort to deter such diversions occurring in the future.
58. There should be a close and detailed record of the actual use of finances given to the Palestinians by Official/Government organisations, Aid and partner organisations to prevent monies being used for the purposes of terrorism whether it be in training or teaching or propaganda. These finances should not in any way be used for bias or unbalanced reporting, as is currently the case.
So this was my stance in 2006 and this was published by the House of Commons International Development Select Committee report on Development Assistance and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
In June 2011 I wrote to my Member of the European Parliament raising again my deepest concerns regarding the divestment of funds from European Aid given to help the Palestinian Arabs. On 18th October 2011 my MEP wrote to me attaching a letter from Mr Stefan Fule MEP who has responsibility for such aid within the E.U. In that letter, which was dated 31st August 2011, Mr Fule stated that;
“All aid funds to Gaza had been fully accounted for and that stringent ex ante and ex post auditing and verification had been carried out by internationally qualified auditing firms”. The letter assured me that it was possible to verify the end destination of each individual payment made and that this was done monthly”.
And now, surprise, surprise, this week the European Court have published a report showing that €1.95 Billion Euros given by the European Union to the Palestinian Authority between 2008 and 2012 has been wasted or lost.
The report noted that the EU investigators visited sites in the West Bank, and Gaza and noticed what was described as “significant deficiencies” in the management of aid funds transferred to the Palestinians. Editors of the report complained that measures were not taken to reduce serious risks such as "corruption or funds not used for purposes for which they were transferred."
A sum of €1.95 Billion Euros is a massive amount of money to lose? How could you waste or lose that amount of money when those around you are allegedly hungry refugees?
Did you also notice that the report states that measures to reduce the serious risk of corruption had not been made!!!!! What had all those replies to my letters been about?
On 24th September 2003 President Bush made an executive order on the financing of terrorists number 13224.This order requests Tax Exempt organisations such as Charities who partner Palestinian NGO’s to include in their agreements a certification regarding financing which would ensure that none of their funding would be used in any way to support terrorism in whatever form whether directly or indirectly through propaganda or education. Palestinian NGO’s were outraged by this request but the USA had ample evidence of misuse of funds and the request was clearly reasonable for any Government or organisation to make, and should naturally be a condition by all parties who send or receive financial support. So if the USA knew about corruption then why did the EU and UK deny any corruption and fail to place upon the PA the same or similar conditions when giving such vast amounts of aid?
I was tempted when I wrote to my MP and MEP on Tuesday morning to ask what have the Wolves have done with our money. However it is an insult to Wolves who share their kill and even vomit up their fill to feed their young for the good of their community. The leaders who stole this aid do not deserve to be called Wolves.
But what about those who gave the money and later lied about its accounting knowing full well that Palestinians, and Israeli’s for that matter, are suffering because they have failed to have a robust system which prevents Palestinian Arab leaders from becoming rich and using this money for their own terrorist activities rather than giving it for the purpose for which it was given.