You are hereCaptured documents show EU aid subsidizing war
Captured documents show EU aid subsidizing war
Israel has relayed evidence to the European Union that its aid to the Palestinian Authority is being diverted to finance insurgency attacks.
Israeli officials said the government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has sent captured PA documents on the Palestinian use of EU aid.
Over the last year, the EU has provided more than $70 million to the PA to pay salaries of members of the more than 100,000 Palestinian civil servants. The EU aid has earmarked for paying the salaries of Palestinian police officers, Middle East Newsline reported.
Israeli officials said the Sharon government sent a report to Brussels that details PA use of EU funding. The report asserts that the PA pays 20 percent less to its officers than reported to the EU. The difference is pocketed by the PA.
PA officers are said to earn between $250 and $500 a month, officials said. But their salaries are paid in Israeli currency and based on an exchange rate that amounts to 3.6 shekels to the dollar. The actual conversion rate is close to five shekels per dollar.
The result is that the PA earns $2.5 million a month from the EU aid, which it then uses to fund insurgents, the report said. Officials said a similar report was presented to the United States.
PA officials acknowledged the discrepancy in exchange rates but said the practice is used to maintain a cap on public sector salaries.
In an unrelated development, NATO has rejected the prospect of sending peacekeepers to separate Israeli and Palestinian forces in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In an interview with the British Broadcasting Corp., NATO secretary-general George Robertson said there was no point in sending a peacekeeping force without peace in the region. Robertson said NATO has not received a formal proposal to send a peacekeeping mission.
On Tuesday, Israel's Cabinet rejected a United Nations demand to accept an international contingent to investigate the Israeli military capture of the West Bank city of Jenin earlier this month. Israeli officials said UN secretary-general Kofi Annan failed to honor his pledge regarding the terms of reference of the investigation.