"The Palestinian Authority is the only body that receives European Union funds regardless of its human rights record or economic performance," European Parliament budget committee chairman says.
Citing the dangers of corruption and lack of transparency, European Parliament Budget Committee Chairman Michael Theurer authored an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal last week calling on the European Union to reconsider its funding to the Palestinian Authority.
Under the Oslo Accords, the EU has provided funding to the Palestinian Authority since its creation in 1994 and is now the Palestinian Authority's largest donor. However, Theurer said, there were significant issues with the manner in which the Palestinian Authority receives its funds.
"In its report, issued in December, the European Court of Auditors revealed major dysfunctions in the management of EU financial support to the Palestinian Authority, and called for a serious overhaul of the funding mechanism," the German diplomat wrote.
Among the issues Theurer raised is the EU's lack of regulation as to where its financial assistance goes, noting that "the Palestinian Authority is the only body that receives EU funds regardless of its human rights record or economic performance."
Theurer cited unethical uses of EU funds such as paying the salaries of Palestinian Authority officials living in the Gaza Strip, who in fact do not work at all and have not for years since the Hamas takeover in 2007, and using funds to pay prisoners convicted of carrying out terrorist attacks salaries five times the average wage for West Bank workers.
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