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Thursday, August 02, 2012

Gaza takes 45% of PA expenses, only 2% of revenue

PA Finance Minister Nabeel Kassis today said the decline in foreign aid for the authority led to a major financial crisis, mostly due to the pledges of many Arab donor countries that were not fulfilled.

At a meeting at the headquarters of the Legislative Council in Ramallah he said that the 2012 budget 2012 has a deficit exceeding one billion dollars.

He also noted that while the PA spends some 45% of its budget in Gaza, it receives less than 2% of its revenue from the sector.

I have noted in the past that the PA spends a huge chunk of its budget on paying employees in Gaza not to work, as Hamas has taken over most of the high-profile governmental functions using Iranian money but Fatah doesn't want to make it look like it has abandoned the sector. Much of the Gaza infrastructure is still being quietly run by the PA, which therefore indirectly subsidizes Hamas, allowing the terror group to spend more of its money on weapons, bunkers, smuggling tunnels and the like.

Hamas collects virtually all the taxes in Gaza but practically none of those go back to the PA, as Kassis noted, even as the PA spends more that twice on Gazans compared to the West Bank Arabs on a per-capita basis.

For some reason, though, the Westerners who fund the PA don't demand oversight on how the money is being spent in Gaza, nor do they express concern that their donations are indirectly supporting Hamas terror.

Moreover, the Western donors don't demand that their money not go towards paying the families of "martyrs" and terrorist prisoners who get handsome monthly stipends in reward for their efforts to kill Jews.