Friday, February 12, 2010

Why is the PA so reticent about Shabaneh's revelations?

By Khalid Amayreh in Ramallah

"Sexual and financial corruption is "rampant" throughout the Palestinian Authority (PA), according to Fahmi Shabaneh. The former PA intelligence official has made these grave allegations in an interview in the Jerusalem Post, and again on Israeli TV Channel 10. The leadership, claims Shabaneh, knows about this but is doing nothing about it.

Such revelations appear to contain more than a grain of truth and must be investigated openly and thoroughly as a priority by the Palestinian justice system. That may not be as easy as it sounds, however, because the PA justice system itself is basically dysfunctional due to political manipulation and interference....

Until recently Fahmi Shabaneh was in charge of the PA's anti-corruption unit in the General Intelligence Service; he was answerable directly to former intelligence chief Tawfiq Tirawi, so he is no outsider, nor is he a political or ideological foe of the PA regime. That is what makes his allegations so serious.

Shabaneh claimed that, as head of the anti-corruption unit, he and his men succeeded in exposing dozens of cases involving "senior officials" who had stolen public funds but were never held accountable.....

A number of sources confirm that Shabaneh's allegations can easily be corroborated. In the Hebron district, for example, thousands of acres of land were purchased by prominent Fatah officials for millions of dollars. The same is true of large swathes of land in the Jericho, Tulkarem, Nablus and Ramallah areas.....

According to Shabaneh, he was only doing his job and he was authorized to fight corruption by Mahmoud Abbas himself..... "

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