European Union Accuses PA of Smuggling Donations
(July 6, 2005)
After an intense, two-year investigation the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) issued a report on July 6, 2005, documenting the Palestinian Authority's (PA) fraudulent use of funds contributed by the European Union (EU). OLAF, an organization administered by EU, inspected the PA’s handling of money donated for economic assistance. The report stated: “There are consistent indications to support the hypothesis that it cannot be excluded that some of the assets of the PA may have been used by some individuals for other than the intended purposes.”
The European Union, the PA’s largest single donor, has supplied more than $1 billion in aid packages since the mid-1990s. Between 1997 and 2000, the PA leadership, primarily under the instruction of Yasser Arafat, transferred $238 million to Swiss bank accounts. The report said that a significant amount of the aid was pocketed by the head leaders of the Palestinian Authority, specifically Yasser Arafat, without the consent of international donors.