Sleaze puts Arafat at risk
Monday 26 May 1997
Angry opposition MPs were yesterday drafting a motion of censure over an official auditors' report that $323m, almost 40 per cent of the Palestinian Authority budget, was either wasted or misused last year.
Some ministers were also accused of channelling funds from foreign donors into private bank accounts. The member states of the European Union are responsible for 54 per cent of aid to the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
One minister alone was said to have run up a $7,000 telephone bill in a single month. As much as $50m from purchase tax on cars that should have gone into the general budget was spent on cars for officials. Senior figures are alleged to have awarded contracts to companies in which they had a personal interest.
Jarar Kidwa, who compiled the 600-page report for Mr Arafat, promised: "All ministers, deputies and directors-general who are behind this waste will be brought to justice. Names and details of the misuse of funds have been given to President Arafat."
Dr Haider Abdel Shafi, a veteran nationalist MP who was among the founders of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, said: "We had an inkling that things were bad, but we didn't know they were as bad as this. This performance is far from what the people expected.
"The contrast between the conditions of the majority of our people and the way ministers and high officials live, their big houses and cars, is shameful. If there is a chance that it might pass, I would vote no confidence in the Government."
Wellcome Image Awards: The most striking images from the world of science, including breast cancer cells under chemical attack and a photographer’s own kidney stone
Missing Malaysia Airlines plane: Terrorism explanation 'cannot be ruled out', says CIA
Bob Crow death: 'Admired by his members, feared by employers' - Tributes pour in for RMT union leader and 'working class hero' Bob Crow
Oscar Pistorius murder trial: Athlete repeatedly sick as court hears 'graphic details' of Reeva Steenkamp's post-mortem
How climate change helped Genghis Khan: Scientists believe a sudden period of warmer weather allowed the Mongols to invade with such success
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
The quiet diplomat: Catherine Ashton - recognised and admired in all the world’s troubled countries, yet ridiculed at home
- 1 Bad cattitude: Family call police after crazed and 'hostile cat with a history of violence' attacks baby before attempting to 'flee custody'
- 2 Family forced to flee home after discovering 'terrifying' nest of spiders in bananas
- 3 First Kiss: Filmmaker gets 20 strangers to make out on YouTube with awkward results
- 4 Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
- 5 Bob Crow death: 'Admired by his members, feared by employers' - Tributes pour in for RMT union leader and 'working class hero' Bob Crow
£20000 - £25000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: One of the largest mobile advert...
£20000 - £23000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: Our client specialises in creati...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Private Cli...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Residential...