Corrupt PA officials deposit money in Israeli banks

Saleh Naami , Monday 25 Apr 2011

Crooked officials come under greater scrutiny as the Palestinian Authority's anti-corruption unit looks to prosecute those responsible for embezzling funds

Investigations conducted by the anti-corruption committee of the Palestinian Authority concluded that a number of corrupt officials deposited their money in Israeli banks, committee head Rafiq Natshe said.

During a speech given in a conference in Al Khalil in the West Bank’s south, Natshe said that the committee had managed to retrieve money and assets for the authority.

He indicated that this form of corruption was manifest in the purchase of the same asset for the authority twice, thereby pocketing the money the second time.

Natshe affirmed that some officials had taken the initiative, returning the embezzled money themselves, emphasising that the retrieved money should be sent to the authority’s treasury. He noted that several individuals are wanted at present for their implication in corruption cases.

Lower-ranking civil servants have been caught accepting bribes and have been referred to the prosecutor-general’s office, Natshe explained, and their cases will be referred to specialist courts.

He said that the committee has made considerable progress towards setting Palestinian Authority institutions right and insuring the corrupt are penalised.

He also called on Palestinian citizens to cooperate with his unit in pointing out corruption “because the committee cannot work in isolation with only figures and charts.”

Nashte considers corruption and corruptors “another face of the occupation.”

He emphasised that financial disclosure is the committee’s highest priority and will begin its application starting with top officials and in accordance with the law.  

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