The Palestinian Authority (PA) is the government of the Palestinian territories and was founded in 1994 “as part of the Oslo Accords between the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) and Israel. This agreement was signed in 1993. Yasser Arafat became after signing the Oslo Accords, the first president of the Palestinian Authority “(Source: Wikipedia).. According to the same source, the PA security services employ 45,000 men who are not forced to bear arms by the occupiers.
It is known that the standard of living is very miserable in Palestine and that many people live under the welfare frontier. After several wars carried out by the occupying power of Tel Aviv toward Palestine there are still Palestinians who have no shelter, no decent housing, no jobs, no electricity for many hours a day, deprived of education and healthy food and drinkable water.
Through the misery of financial and human crisis, the Palestinians rely on donations and grants from abroad and taxes imposed by the occupying power. In December 2012 the Dutch Newspaper De Volkskrant published an article in which was written that the occupying power withheld 80 million because they wanted to punish the Palestinians because the Palestinians had signed and were accepted by the United Nations. The occupying forces have used the money to the Palestinian debts “to include repaying the Israeli electricity company” (Source: Volkskrant).
EU aid to PA
In the years 2008 to 2012, the European Union seems almost two billion aid had given to the Palestinian Authority. According to an article on the site Christian Union, the European Court has serious doubts about the utilization of the amount. The site refers to an article in The Sunday Times: “The Sunday Times reported on October 13 that the European Court of Auditors in a new research report concludes that EU aid funds may not be spent correctly by the Palestinian Authority. Between 2008 and 2012 the EU has provided support for 1.95 billion euros to the Palestinian Authority. EU investigators would have found in monitoring the spending of this money significant deficiencies. There has been insufficient control or the money is not wrong spent, wasted and / or obscured ” (Source: www.christenunie.nl).
On June 14, 2016 there is an article on the same site on a motion of small right in the Parliament who has been given a majority to cut back on the money which is supplied to the PA: Joel Voordewind (Christian Union): “Earlier it was agreed that the Palestinian Authority – whose income largely consists of donations from EU Member States – would stop payments to jailed terrorists. Now, however, the Palestinian Authority returns the money to the PLO, which still pays the salaries. Thus the Palestinian Authority mislead the EU and the Netherlands and terrorists are rewarded with more European money for making innocent victims. The Christian Union shall make this payment a long time, over and over, public. Now for the first time a parliamentary majority also wants to act against the financing of terrorism by the Palestinian Authority ” (Source: www.christenunie.nl).
The money goes to the people?
Apart from the fact that the smaller right-wing parties in Parliament think about where the money is going, the question is legitimate to ask whether the money reaches those who need it, namely the Palestinians.
According to the motion of small Christian right, the PA would have paid the money to the PLO, which has paid their salaries. The moral censors in Parliament have immediately linked here that the terrorists put in prison are paid. Now the question is what are the terrorists here indicated. For the Christian morality is a terrorist someone who fights against “the only democracy in the region”. In my experience, these are not terrorists but resistance fighters like our uncles and fathers who in World War II fought against the German occupying power.
Hypocritical of right wing moralists is that one group are called terrorists and the other group is appointed as resistance fighters, the latter still being knighted with some ribbon or royal honor. No, our morality in the Parliament just execute the orders of the occupying powers in Tel Aviv, under pressure from lobby groups and other errand boys in our country.
But ordinary people saw nothing or hardly anything of the funds received. But what else is going on?
On April 4, 2016, we were surprised by the information made public by investigative journalists from Panama Papers. It was also clear from the information that certain figures have not been spared in the surroundings of President Abbas and hence possible creative with money.
One of the names that has come up in accordance with the Panama Papers is the name Tareq Abbas. Indeed the son of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. According to the documents would Abbas, in cooperation with the PA, secretly owned a holding company worth more than $ 1 million on the British Virgin Islands (Source: www.al-monitor.com)
The former Palestinian deputy prime minister, Mohammed Mustafa, who resigned in 2015, also appeared on the list of the Panama Papers as leader of the Palestinian Investment Fund. It was also found the name Arab Palestinian Investment Company (APIC) on the list. APIC is one of the largest companies in Palestine with over 1500 employees.
According to well-informed sources Tareq Abbas has a villa in Amman, one in Jordan and one building on the top floor in Beirut, Lebanon. But if all this is not enough – after all, you should be able to live well – son Abbas has for $ 1.5 million a luxury two-bedroom apartment purchased in Merchant Square East, a better neighborhood in London (Source: Al Jazeera).
According to a real estate agency, Tareq’s new address is “a prestigious building on the water” in a “chic, contemporary style with important facilities and furniture” within walking distance of an area full of “traditional old English pubs and new bars and restaurants” (Source Al Jazeera).
Tareq’s apartment is empty for most of the time, meaning that he does not need any income from rentals. According to the article by Al Jazeera the rental income could be about $ 4,300 per month.
According to the same article the average annual salary for the Palestinians would be around $ 3.060, which just means that the average Palestinian could rent the apartment not for another month.
Here comes the problem immediately: the majority of Palestinians live in poverty. An article by Sara Roy of 2006 (Source: www.palestina-komitee.nl) even talked about the fact that 79% of the Palestinian households lives in poverty.
The people living in poverty and loving son Abbas – probably supported in some way by his “rich dad” – scatters money as if it never can.
According to the Qur’an was a leader of the people are never attacked by the people, definitely a good leader, but there would be discussions about the mistakes made by the leader. I believe it is quickly needed a great nation consultations to seek explanations about the wasteful hand of the Abbas family.
September 1994, the Arab Palestinian Investment Company was (APIC) registered on the British Virgin Islands. The first general meeting was held at the Sheraton Hotel in Dubai on May 24, 1995 where the shareholders met for the first time. During the meeting, director Khaldoun Sorour, who could only take care of the registration, was dismissed and replaced by Sheikh Omar Aggad, a Saudi businessman of Palestinian descent.
APIC is active in almost every Palestinian economic, food and medical equipment to public relations, vehicles and shopping centers. In other words, APIC has an important finger in the economy of Palestine. APIC has been listed since 2014 on the Palestinian stock exchange (Source: www.haaretz.com).
The story of intertwining with the PA is even ‘better’. The Palestinian Investment Fund – which has a large clear link with the office of Abbas – has a bit of 18% of the shares of APIC; almost the majority of the shares, are for Aggad Tareq, son of the sheikh, as CEO, 27% of the shares.
Besides financial ties between PA and APIC there are also discovering personal ties. In 2000, the confidant of Yasser Arafat, Mohammed Rashid, was a member of the Board of APIC. This lasted until December 15, 2004, just a month after the death of Arafat.
Abbas saw his chance and put his confidant, Mohammad Mustafa, in the Board of Directors in March 2006. But it gets even “better”: In 2011, a new member to the board of directors of APIC was added, namely Tareq Abbas, yes indeed … that one..
The marketing market was and is probably still dominated by Sky. “Sky was founded as a joint venture by the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram and the PCSC. It was bought by APIC in 1999, when Tareq was the deputy CEO, who had less than 10 percent of its shares. Later he was appointed CEO of the company and is currently chairman of the board of directors on behalf of the APIC. “(Source: www.haaretz.com).
According to a report by Reuters in 2009, Sky has 206 signed a contract for public relations campaign to improve the image of the United States in the occupied territories.
Tareq Abbas still has some other functions, like deputy CEO of the Arab Palestinian Shopping Center Company and member of the Board of Directors of Unipal General Trading Company.
Smart investing or just steal?
One can think of anything to register a company or several companies through tax havens. My humble opinion is simply evading the tax, besides the fact that the route has become quite incomprehensible to the average citizen.
In a country where most of the population lives below the poverty line (ie Palestine), the “diversion of funds” is nothing more or less than just theft. Funds are needed for the construction of Palestine, to support the Palestinians in building a good life.
However, as has been described above, it is done with mysterious funds by the PA and the Abbas family. A thorough financial investigation here would be needed to see whether the funds legally be used if the funds disappear into the deep pockets of the Abbas family.
This is a translation of a part out of the Palestine Papers (nr. 22)