Britain is suspending millions of pounds-worth of aid payments to the Palestinian Authority amid staggering claims taxpayers cash is ending up in the hands of terrorists.
According to the Sun, Priti Patel, the International Development Secretary, instructed her department to freeze the payments, a third of the total the UK sends to the PA, pending an investigation.
Earlier this summer MPs demanded action after revelations UK aid supposedly paying for civil servants in Gaza was being transferred to the Palestinian Liberation Organisation. Other ‘salaries’ are said to have gone to families of suicide bombers and teenagers attacking Israel. The government also froze payments to World VIsion in August after Israel arrested one of its employees over allegations of channeling funds to Hamas.
The concern prompted CUFI-UK, in partnership with Israel-Britain Alliance, to urge government to take action. With your help, this decision by Priti Patel is a major step forward in preventing much-needed aid to be misused by funding terrorism against Israel.
A Mail on Sunday report in March reported that millions of pounds of UK aid funding was being handed over by the PA to the PLO, which was paying stipends to the convicted murderers of Israeli civilians. Recipients include Abdullah Barghouti, a Hamas bombmaker who has received over £100,000 to date, and Amjad and Hakim Awad, who murdered the Fogel family in 2011.
The report by the Sun says that Government sources yesterday conceded that many of the civil servants were doing other jobs while pocketing UK taxpayers’ cash.
The decision by the Department for International Development means £25 million in cash is being withheld this year – a third of the total aid sent to Palestinian territories. The majority goes to charities in the region.
The Sun says that Whitehall insiders insisted the payments to the Palestinian Authority should re-start next year once the investigation is complete.
A source of the paper said: “We are not stopping for the Palestinian Authority overall, just delaying it to a date when we know our money won’t be going to people who do nothing in return for it.”
Conservative Friends of Israel welcomed the reported announcement.
In a statement, Conservative Friends of Israel parliamentary chairman Sir Eric Pickles and CFI honorary president Lord Polak said: “Today’s announcement is an important step towards peace and those who work for it on all sides. It sends a wake-up call to the Palestinian Authority.
“As the new Secretary of State for International Development, Priti Patel, has acted quickly to challenge a long-standing abuse of well-intentioned international aid money.
“This announcement will benefit Palestinian residents as funding will be unambiguously focused on coexistence, economic development and peace.”