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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Abbas: Most of PA budget is spent in Gaza

Trying to interpret auto-translated text is sometimes tricky but one part of the Wafa transcript of Mahmoud Abbas' speech today at Sanaa University seems interesting:
President Abbas confirmed that despite what happened, the power [PA] is still completely responsible directly for all staff in the Gaza Strip and 77,000 staff members, while in the West Bank 73 thousand staff, and budget spent on the Gaza Strip rather than spent on the West Bank where it is disbursed 58% in Gaza and 42% disposal in the West Bank.
It appears that the West gives hundreds of millions to the PA and the PA gives the lion's share of that money to the same Gaza Strip that the West is pretending to sanction. And the PA, with Western money, still bankrolls tens of thousands of employees in Gaza who are doing next to nothing.

Meaning that Hamas has the luxury not to worry about Gaza residents rioting over not getting paid and can use all of its smuggled cash for building bombs and rockets.

UPDATE: I found confirmation in a February 3 article from Xinhua:
Fayyad explained that his government has spent 58 percent of its budget on Gaza Strip "to ease the life of the people and enhance their living conditions."
As Abbas makes clear, most of this 58% in in paying salaries, so the PA is not even trying to limit its spending of our tax dollars.

It also means that the PA is spending more than double per capita on Gaza than in the West Bank.