Abbas Building Lavish West Bank Presidential Palace
by Stephen Lendman
Palestinians under PA governance are ill-served, abused, lied to and exploited. Abbas is an illegitimate president - installed by Israel in a 2005 rigged election. His term expired in January 2009. He refuses to step down.
He’s a longtime Israeli collaborator - enforcing its harshness against his own people. Betrayal pays well. Reportedly he amassed a fortune worth hundreds of millions of dollars - profiting from secret land deals, other investments and grand theft.
US and EU funds were stolen. Operations are opaque. Irregularities are rampant - transparency nonexistent.
While Palestinians endure enormous economic and financial hardships struggling to survive, Abbas is spending millions of dollars building a lavish presidential palace near Ramallah. It’s reported $13 million cost may end up double or triple that amount before completion.
According to the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction (PECDAR):
“The goal of this project is to establish the Presidential Guest Palace in Surda, Ramallah within an area of 4,700m2, along with a building for the Presidential Administration and Guards with an area of 4,000m2, the construction process includes also preparing the surrounding area and two helipads, the project will be constructed over a land area of 27,000m2.”
PA finances are strapped. Last March, an emergency budget was approved after countries pledging aid reneged. Spending enormous sums on wasteful luxury shows greater contempt for Palestinian needs than already.
Abbas’ staged PLO head resignation along with five other Executive Committee members was a ruse - a thinly veiled scheme to tighten his grip on power.
Former PA legal advisor Diana Buttu criticized the move, saying he’s “trying to make it seem as though he is actually legitimate by having one of the Palestinians’ policy bodies re-elect him, and he is trying to get rid of those who openly dissent.”
“He is using an illegitimate mechanism to make himself legitimate. We have no idea what will happen next when this man will finally decide to say goodbye. We are getting to the point where everything is consolidated to him.”
Committee member Ghassan Shaka’ah lied claiming “(t)here resignations are needed to renew the work and legitimacy of the PLO Executive Committee.”
“They are needed to inject new blood in the PLO. The dangerous conditions in the region require that we all strengthen our internal situation to confront Israeli aggression and escalation.”
Abbas and close PA cronies support Israel’s war on Palestine, including naked aggression on Gaza three times since December 2008. They’re longtime Israeli enforcers - terrorizing their own people in return for special benefits derived.
Former PLO secretary-general Yasser Abed Rabbo removed by Abbas to eliminate a rival called the mass resignations a “silly charade” - subterfuge to consolidate power, continue business as usual.
Hamas called it an Abbas power play - undermining chances for unity governance, playing into Israel’s hands, assuring harder times ahead for Palestinians, including maintaining Gaza’s siege.
Nothing in prospect suggests relief for long-suffering Palestinians - especially under Abbas-run Judas governance.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.