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Jenin governor calls for former PA officials to return stolen money

Akram Al-Rajoub, the governor of the West Bank city of Jenin [Maannews]

Akram Al-Rajoub, the governor of the West Bank city of Jenin, called on Friday for former Palestinian Authority (PA) ministers and officials to return money they had stolen while in office, Safa Press Agency reported.

On his Facebook page, Al-Rajoub declared that there had been an order by President Mahmoud Abbas for the return of the funds, which has since been ignored.

“If you do not return the money,” he warned, “we will prosecute and uncover you… It is better for you to return the money.”

Al-Rajoub stressed that the PA had avoided commenting on this issue in the public sphere, in order not to “expose you”.

On 19 August, President Mahmoud Abbas ordered the former prime minister and members of his 17th government to return money they had illegally obtained, during their time in office.

It is worth noting that Finance Minister, Shukro Bshara, had returned a sum of $81,600 to the PA treasury.

Prior to Abbas’s order, mass media leaked a decision by the former government to raise the salaries of its members, from $3,000 to $5,000, and the salary of its prime minister from $4,000 to $6,000, in light of the announcement of the current government in an austerity plan.

The former prime minister, Rami Hamadallah, confirmed the reports by explaining that the decision was taken with the awareness of Abbas.

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