Arafat's Over Billion-Dollar Stash

(Sunday Mail-Australia) Rodney Dalton - PA finance minister Salam Fayyad "is really trying very hard," says Matthew Levitt, a former FBI analyst who tracks terrorism. "However, (his) best efforts can only be successful as they pertain to the PA's funds. He has no jurisdiction over PLO funds, Fatah (Arafat's political party) funds, or any funds that have been diverted to Yasser Arafat's (or his associates') personal accounts." Arafat still pays the salaries of more security officers than he needs, including Palestinian naval police based in landlocked Hebron. The renewed interest in Arafat's finances comes at a sensitive time for the Palestinians, who will present their 2004 budget at an international donors conference in Rome on December 12. Europe - the PA's main financial backer - wants to know what happened to the $US5.5 billion in international aid that has flowed in Arafat's direction since the PA was established in 1994.

2003-12-02 00:00:00

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