Mahmoud Abbas (code name: Abu Mazen) stole $1.3 billion from Yasser Arafat’s old rainy day fund of looted tax money according to a political opponent, Muhammad Dahlan. The once $2 billion Palestinian Investment Fund (PIF) slush fund has long been under a well-deserved cloud of suspicion for corruption, cronyism, and nepotism. (See here and here.) This only reinforces our understanding of the horrible corruption and fathomless accounting of the Palestinian Authority.
(And yes, Hillary Clinton still wants unfettered access to U.S. tax dollars to continue transfers to the entities like the Palestinian Authority.)
From the Jerusalem Post:
Abbas ‘feels he’s above the law,’ charges Dahlan
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
Ousted Fatah official Muhammad Dahlan over the weekend launched a scathing attack on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, accusing him of dictatorship and financial corruption.
He said that more than $1 billion have gone missing from a fund that was handed over to Abbas after he was elected president in 2005.
Dahlan’s attack on Abbas came after PA security forces raided the former Fatah commander’s home in Ramallah on Thursday, arresting his bodyguards and confiscating weapons and armored vehicles.
Dahlan was at home during the raid, which was carried out by dozens of security officers, but was not detained thanks to his parliamentary immunity.
Shortly thereafter, Dahlan left for Jordan through the Allenby Bridge, where he gave a series of interviews to Arab media outlets in which he strongly condemned Abbas, 76, and accused him of financial corruption and seeking to destroy Fatah.
“Abbas does not recognize any law, morals or values,” Dahlan said, referring to the raid on his home and last month’s decision to expel him from the Fatah Central Committee.
“Abbas feels that he’s above the law.”
Dahlan said that the dispute between Fatah and Hamas, and Israel’s presence in the West Bank, gave Abbas a “free hand to practice dictatorship against the Palestinian people, silence people and deny them their salaries.”
Dahlan said that the dispute with the PA president erupted after he demanded to know what had happened to $1.3b. that was in the account of the Palestinian Investment Fund.
The PIF was established in 2000 as an independent Palestinian investment company “committed to maximizing the assets’ value for its shareholder: the Palestinian people.”
According to its website, PIF’s chief objective is “to safeguard and consolidate the Palestinian people’s investments and property, both in Palestine and abroad.”
Dahlan said that after the death of Yasser Arafat, the responsibility for the fund was transferred to Abbas in 2005.
“This is money that Yasser Arafat had collected from Palestinian taxpayers for the day that we would need it,” Dahlan explained. “There aren’t more black days than today, where our employees are not receiving salaries. Why doesn’t he pay from this fund, which he controls personally? The PLO does not know about this sum.
This is documented money that was delivered to him [Abbas] from an international accounting company.”
Dahlan said that when he exposed the issue of the PIF last April, Abbas got furious. “He thinks that the sun can be covered with a sieve,” he added.
“Yasser Arafat worked strenuously to save this money for the ‘black day.’ Mahmoud Abbas thinks that the people don’t know where this money is and who received it. Now he’s admitting that there is only $700 million in the fund.
But the real sum should be about $2b.”