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Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Why hasn't Arafat built a single home for one refugee family?

THE PALESTINIAN MONEY TRAIL by Mitchell Bard

The problems facing the Palestinian people and the PA economy are not due to a lack of resources. Instead of feeding, housing, and employing Palestinians, significant amounts of financial aid have been siphoned off by Yasser Arafat and other PA officials for their personal benefit.

The Palestinians living inside the Palestinian Authority have been given far greater international financial support than most other suffering peoples. Since the signing of the Oslo Accord in 1993, the U.S. government has committed more than $1.3 billion in economic assistance to the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Since the end of 2000, Arab states have transferred to the PA monthly financial aid of $45 million (since April 2002 this sum was increased to $55 million).

The EU transfers to the PA approximately $9 million monthly.

By the end of 2001, the Palestinians had received $4 billion (the figure is now closer to $5.5 billion) since the 1993 Oslo agreements. This is the equivalent of $1,330 per Palestinian. By comparison, the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe after World War II provided $272 per European (in today's dollars).

These PA revenues do not include the $8-14 billion in assets the Palestine Liberation Organization is believed to have accumulated over the years through drug trafficking, illegal arms dealing, money laundering, fraud, extortion, and legal investments.

We hear a great deal about the suffering of the Palestinian refugees, but most of these refugees live in camps under the direct control of Yasser Arafat. With all of these resources, why hasn't he managed to build a single home for one refugee family? Where is all the money, and why hasn't it been used to help the Palestinian people?

Read it all at IsraelInsider (10/17/03).
One of the comments that follows the article says, "Arafat hates Palestinians." Some of them are not too fond of him either; see Muslim group opposes Arafat's burial on Mount, JPost 3/3/04.