Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has allegedly deposited nearly $13 million in U.S. taxpayer aid into a secret bank account, and routinely uses his political connections to profit from the stagnant peace process, according to testimony presented to Congress Tuesday by several Middle East experts.
Abbas has enriched himself during his seven years in office through secret land deals, and helped his two sons earn millions of dollars through their stakes in companies that profit from U.S. assistance, the experts said during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing entitled “Corruption within the Palestinian Political Establishment.
Abbas’ sons—Yasser and Tareq—have used their government ties to secure plum contracts and special treatment for business partners, according to Jonathan Schanzer, vice president for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
The corruption just scratches the surface of the Palestinian first family’s shady dealings, experts warned.
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