Last month I noted that Palestinian authorities were cracking down on car-theft rings and destroying the cars that were found - and I showed that most of those cars were stolen from Israel.
Instead of returning the stolen vehicles to their rightful owners, the Palestinian Authority decided to destroy them.
There are some more details that were revealed in a Ma'an story about stolen cars in the West Bank.
The article admits that most of the cars are stolen from Israel, and it estimates that some 40,000 vehicles in the West Bank are actually stolen from Israel. The PA destroyed over 4500 cars this year alone!
However, Palestinian security officials spin the thefts as more of a public safety issue, because the cars are not inspected properly. It also improbably claims that many of the cars are sold illegally by Israelis to Palestinians.
Why doesn't the PA simply return the cars to Israel?
It turns out that the Palestinian Authority doesn't completely destroy the stolen vehicles. They make them unusable, for example by bashing in the roofs, but the cars are then auctioned to auto-repair shops for spare parts - and "the proceeds of the sale are deposited in the state treasury according to Palestinian law."
Which means that the PA is not interested in stopping the car thefts. They just want to make sure that they make a profit from the work of the thieves.
The rampant car theft helps enrich the Palestinian Authority - which is why their crackdown is not to stop the thefts but to ensure that they make money off of them.
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