Abbas Living in Luxury, the PLO pays well?

Living Large

Abu Mazen’s (Mahmood Abbas) new palace

Life is so, so hard in the ‘occupied territories.’

From here (comments are mostly in Hebrew). According to the person who posted it, it’s Abu Mazen’s ‘guest palace.’

By the way, there are many luxurious homes in Judea and Samaria. Back in the old days, before the existence of the ‘Palestinian Authority’ necessitated bypass roads in order to prevent Jews from being murdered, we used to play a game when we road through the ‘Palestinian’

*** How did he get here?

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas resigned on Saturday as head of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Executive Committee in a bid to force new elections for the top body, says Wassel Abu Yousef. Yousef also goes on to report that more than half of the 18-member committee have also stepped down, according to Israel National News. However, the 80-year-old Abbas still retains his post as Palestinian president.  “The resignation of the president of the executive committee Mahmoud Abbas and more than half of its members have created a legal vacuum, and therefore the Palestine National Council (PNC) has been asked to meet in one month to elect a new executive committee,” Yousef said in a statement.

Yousef, a senior PLO committee member, added that the resignations will not take effect until the PNC meets. The PNC is the 740-member Palestinian Parliament. Members live in the Palestinian territories and have not met in 20-years.

Abbas took up the position of the Ramallah-based government in 2005, a year after he became the PLO’s chief. On several occasions, he has threatened to resign or dissolve the Palestinian Authority.

The PLO’s chief negotiator and well-known political figure Saeb Erekat will probably replace Abbas, according to Al Arabiya News, reporting on previous rumors of the Abbas resignation. Saeb Erekat is a close aide to Abbas and had replaced Abed Rabbo as secretary after Rabbo was ousted by Abbas for becoming an increasingly vocal critic of the leader.  Abbas has faced questions about his legitimacy to rule within the Palestinian territories, where he was elected to what was originally meant to be a four-year term in 2005, according to The New York Times. New presidential and legislative elections for the Palestinian Authority have been prevented by an internal rift between Abbas’s Fatah party and the rival Islamic group, Hamas, which won the last legislative elections in 2006 and seized control of Gaza the next year. Read more here.

Other facts on Abbas:

  • During the 1948 Palestinian war, his family fled to Syria
  • Abbas studied at the University of Damascus and later went to Moscow and studied at Patrice Lumumba University (KGB)
  • He has a son named after Yasser Arafat
  •  He was a member of the Fatah, which funded the attack of the 1972 Munich Massacre
  • The U.S. Congress knew about his corruption and skimming off big money

Like Father, Like Son

the other home

Son of Mahmoud Abbas caught up in corruption scandal

The son of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has been tied to a corruption scandal involving leaked documents that appear to show attempts by Palestinian officials to misuse public funds.

An invoice published by a protest group on the Internet apparently shows that Yasser Mahmoud Reda Abbas made a payment of $50,000 as part of his acquisition of apartments in a luxury complex in the West Bank city of Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian government.

Earlier revelations from paperwork leaked online have triggered outrage, highlighting the corruption and mismanagement critics say remain rampant in the Palestinian government.
A senior Palestinian official, speaking on condition of anonymity as he wasn’t allowed to discuss the leak, confirmed the documents’ authenticity to The Associated Press. They have offered a rare glimpse into the wheeling and dealing of the Palestinian government, long bogged down by rivalries.
One document signed by Majdi al-Khaldi, a diplomatic adviser to Abbas who accompanies him on his trips to world capitals, asked Bahrain’s foreign minister for $4 million to fund the private neighborhood complex for Palestinian officials in Ramallah. He insisted the complex was “meant to resist the Israeli settlements,” even though there are no settlements where the complex was built.
The other document by Nazmi Muhanna, general director of the Palestinian Crossing and Borders Authority, requested the government pay for his daughter’s schooling as well as medical treatment for his family in Jordan for a total of $15,000, a hefty sum for many Palestinians. Muhanna defended his demand, saying it was permitted by the Palestinian government. The government later said it did not cover those expenses.
Outrage over the documents quickly spread on social media, where Palestinians challenged everything from their leadership’s finances to its political legitimacy in the face of repeatedly delayed elections, last held in 2005.
The furor over the documents comes as the Palestinian economy is stagnating and Palestinians grow increasingly displeased with government services. Palestinian Authority officials have defended their record on stamping out corruption, saying they’ve recovered millions of dollars in misspent funds.