Abbas fires all advisers, tells ministers to return bribe money amid financial crisis
Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who is serving the 15th year of his 4-year term, has fired all of his advisers and ordered a former prime minister and ex-cabinet ministers to return tens of thousands of dollars from a pay raise he secretly approved two years ago.
Abbas’s office did not provide further details on the number of advisers or the costs involved.
The Palestinian Authority, which governs parts of Judea and Samaria, has long faced charges of corruption and mismanagement.
PA officials said the decisions came as part of efforts to cut costs after Israel stopped delivering tax revenues earlier this year.
In 2018, Israel passed a law to deduct ‘Pay to Slay’ terrorists’ salaries from the Palestinian Authority.
The law says that welfare payments paid out by the PA to Muslim terrorists in Israeli prisons and to their families, as well as the families of terrorists eliminated during terror attacks, must be deducted from tax revenues Israel transfers annually to the administrative body.
The money withheld in this way would instead go into a fund designated to help victims of terror attacks.
Abbas refused to take any of the tax transfers, which account for some 65 percent of PA revenues.
Furthermore, the United States has also cut hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the PA via various programs in a bid to pressure the PA to re-enter so-called peace talks with Israel.