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Dissolve the Palestinian Authority to be debt-free

January 24, 2014 at 11:33 am

If Ismail Pasha brought foreign occupation onto Egypt after drowning it in debt, then what will Salam Fayyad and Mahmoud Abbas bring onto the Palestinians who are already under direct occupation, after they have drowned them with a $4 billion debt? Ismail Pasha was sure he could count on Egypt’s resources and its production capabilities to pay off the debt, but what were Fayyad and Abbas counting on when they accumulated such a debt? They know that the Palestinians do not have sufficient land, water, airspace or natural resources to carry such a burden.

Some may take the Palestinian Authority’s $4 billion debt lightly, but Palestinians will go crazy if they learn that the annual interest alone collected by the banks on Abbas and Fayyad’s debt is $200 million, which amounts to two months’ worth of PA employee salaries.

Debts amounting to $4 billion confirm that whoever insisted on dissolving the Palestinian Legislative Council was not stupid, and whoever made sure that no one monitored the work of the government was aware of the result. Moreover, we can now understand the reason behind some individuals’ refusal to press ahead with reconciliation; that would end the lies, fraud, debts and selling off the land in chunks in order to provide salaries and miscellaneous items for the favoured few.

If we do a simple calculation of the population in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, around 4 million people, each Palestinian in the West Bank and Gaza Strip now owes local and international banks $1,000 per head. My family alone owes about $20,000. Hence, every head of every Palestinian family must calculate the debt put on their shoulders by Abbas and Fayyad; after that, we should search for ways to prosecute these two men and hold them accountable for how they spent this money. It is sufficient for us to know that the annual budget for Mahmoud Abbas’s office is almost $73 million; that’s $200,000 every single day. Where does it all go?

Some say that Abbas is innocent and the financial debt is one of Fayyad’s crimes, which is why the Revolutionary Council called for him to be sacked. That may be the case, but what is more accurate is that Abbas always says that the government is his, and he is responsible for its policies; he knows every action taken by Salam Fayyad and he is directly responsible for all that he’s done.

The Palestinian people must dissolve the Palestinian Authority if they are to become debt-free, as they have no other way out of their economic crisis, political deterioration, emotional breakdown, organisational dilemma and Israel’s victory achieved with the signing the Oslo Accords. The only solution is to dissolve the Authority and break down its edifice which has undermined the pillars of resistance and torn apart Palestinian national unity.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.