Yasser Arafat’s former financial adviser Muhammad Rashid revealed over the
weekend that Fatah has a secret bank account in Jordan containing $39
Rashid said that the original sum was $44m., but that this
dropped after the Fatah leadership spent $5m. on the faction’s sixth general
conference held in Bethlehem in August 2009.
Rashid, who was Arafat’s
“moneyman” for many years, said he had all the necessary documents to prove the
existence of the bank account.
He said that only Palestinian Authority
President Mahmoud Abbas and two of his associates were authorized to deal with
the secret account.
“According to my documents, $13m. came from the US,
while the remaining sum came from friendly Arab countries,” Rashid
He challenged Abbas to deny the existence of the account, saying he
would then reveal the identity of the two associates, the name of the bank and
the Arab countries that deposited the money.
Rashid pointed out that
Abbas had long been denying the existence of such a bank account for
Rashid’s revelations are part of what Palestinians describe as a “dirty war” that has erupted between him and Abbas.
Last week, a PA
court in Ramallah sentenced Rashid in absentia to 15 years in prison and a $15m.
fine on charges of embezzlement of public funds and money-laundering.
decision to prosecute the former Arafat adviser came after he appeared on the
Saudiowned Al-Arabiya TV station and criticized the PA leadership.
has since threatened to expose corruption scandals involving Abbas and his two
businessmen sons, Yasser and Tarek.
The Fatah central committee, a body
dominated by Abbas loyalists, on Saturday launched a scathing attack on Rashid,
who is a Kurd from Iraq, and dubbed him a “criminal” and “traitor.”
committee said in a communiqué issued in Ramallah that Rashid was “playing a
central role in a new conspiracy against President Abbas, who represents the
will of the Palestinian people and who has become a symbol of steadfastness in
the face of pressure and plots.”