Hasan Khreishah, deputy speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Saturday
held the Palestinian Authority responsible for rampant corruption and human
He also blasted the PA and Hamas governments for human
rights abuses, especially against Palestinian journalists.
signing of the Oslo Accords, we have had 12 Palestinian governments,” Khreishah
said in an interview with the London-based Al- Quds Al-Arabi
“Each government consisted of at least 24 ministers. This
means that we have had 228 ministers, in addition to advisers. All receive high
salaries and luxurious vehicles,” he continued.
Noting that members and
representatives of other leading Palestinian bodies were also receiving high
salaries and other privileges, Khreishah disclosed that the chairman of the
Palestinian Investment Fund was being paid $35,000 each
Established in 2003, the fund is an independent investment company
which aims to strengthen the Palestinian economy through key strategic
At present, the fund has approximately $800 million in
Khreishah scoffed at the PA’s talk about a financial crisis in
the West Bank and said that corruption was now more widespread than
“In light of the financial expenses [of the PA leadership], the
talk about a financial crisis is repugnant and baseless,” he charged. “This talk
has become a sort of political statement.”
He revealed that PA ministers
and top officials were wasting public funds by spending an average of five days
a month abroad.
“We hear about the suffering and hunger of the poor and
the difficulties facing the unemployed, farmers, villagers and civil servants,”
Khreishah said. “At the same time, we hear about the luxurious life of senior
and influential officials and the involvement of some in money
Khreishah accused the PA of trying to cover up for rampant
corruption by establishing a number of anti-corruption commissions in the West
Corruption today is bigger than it was in the past, he said. “The
Palestinian parliament has not been able to do anything about the state of
corruption because of the split between Fatah and Hamas and Israeli arrests of
some of the legislators,” Khreishah pointed out.
“In my opinion, we don’t
need ministries because any director could manage them,” he
Khreishah called for canceling the privileges granted to the
legislators, except for the salaries, because they are unable to carry out their
Ordinary Palestinians, he said, were paying a heavy price for the
ongoing dispute between Fatah and Hamas.
Palestinians are being arrested,
fired from their jobs and subjected to repressive measures by both parties, he
“Journalists have become a target for anyone who wants to violate
human rights,” Khreishah said. “Palestinians are being held hostages by the two
In response to the charges, Jamal Nazzal, a Fatah spokesman in
the West Bank, accused Khreishah of being affiliated with Hamas and urged him to
stop using the title deputy speaker of the Palestinian parliament.
also accused Khreishah of “political opportunism.”