Your tax dollars/euros at work: 95.5% of 'Palestinians' say 'Palestinian Authority' is corruptcorruption in the 'Palestinian Authority.'
A recent poll found that almost all Palestinians — 95.5 percent — believe there is corruption in Abbas' government. Nader Said, a veteran pollster, surveyed 1,200 people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip last month. Among Gaza residents scoring the performance of the territory's Hamas rulers, the figure was 82 percent.
"This is the highest rate I have ever seen in all the polls I have done," Said, who runs an independent polling agency called AWRAD, told The Associated Press. The margin of error was 3 percentage points.
Experts say perceptions of corruption tend to be overblown. The World Bank, for example, found in a survey of Palestinians several years ago that far more people believed there was corruption than actually experienced it.
But critics say secretiveness among Abbas and his advisers and a lack of responsiveness have fanned suspicions among the public that the political elite enjoy privileges and special deals at the expense of everyone else.
For example, the government hasn't submitted annual budget reports for mandatory audits for four years, effectively preventing scrutiny of how millions of dollars are spent, said corruption monitor Aman, the Palestinian branch of Transparency International.
Hamdallah's predecessor, Salam Fayyad, was credited by international donors with making public spending more transparent. Fayyad resigned in 2013 amid tensions with Abbas and Fatah, including over the budget.
Abbas then installed Hamdallah, an academic without political experience.
"Fayyad used to host us and brief us every year," Afaneh said. "In the current situation, we don't hear from the government or the Finance Ministry."
Finance Ministry officials did not respond to requests for comment.
The government does post its spending plans online. But the listings are bare-boned and often puzzling, said Afaneh.
For example, out of the government's development budget of $17.9 million for the first three months of 2014, $9.4 million went for Abbas' small presidential plane and $4.4 million for "other" expenses. A development budget typically goes to projects that benefit the community.
Afaneh said plane expenses shouldn't be listed under development and that portraying one-fourth of the development budget in that quarter as "other" raises questions.
The public has complained loudly over issues of nepotism and disproportionately high salaries for select senior officials, some of whom make $10,000 a month, about 10 times the average for government employees.
"It's rare to find someone who got a job based on his qualifications," said Diaa Abu Dhaher, 23, who has an undergraduate degree in business administration but works as a waiter in a Ramallah restaurant.95.5% is the kind of number you usually see in polls in a dictatorship... oh... wait... this is a dictatorship. But usually you don't see wall-to-wall opposition to the dictator.
But the US Left and the Europeans continue to shower money on their beloved 'Palestinian Authority' because... anything to hurt the Jews.
Those villas at the top are part of the story, by the way, and they are not Jewish. They're located in Ramallah. Read the whole thing to see who owns them and how they got them. Yes, that's part of it. And this story too is part of the Obama #Legacy.