US says Palestinian Authority failed fiscal transparency standards

Report faulting the PA’s financial practices comes at a challenging time for Ramallah.

By World Israel News Staff

The Palestinian Authority failed to meet the minimum standards around fiscal transparency and how government funds are allocated, the U.S. State Department announced in a report released last week.

The annual 2022 Fiscal Transparency Report has been published since 2008 and analyzes the financial practices of countries that receive foreign aid from the U.S.

The PA’s “supreme audit institution lacked independence, and its audit reports were not publicly available within a reasonable period and did not cover the entire annual executed budget,” the 2022 report stated.

The revelation that the body’s fiscal management is not up to American standards raises serious questions about recent promises from the U.S. government to allocate massive amounts of funding to the PA.

In July 2022, President Joe Biden pledged an additional $316 million in funding to the PA and its institutions, after restoring some $500 million in funding to the PA and Palestinian organizations which had previously been ended by former president Donald Trump.

The report noting the PA’s issues around fiscal transparency comes at a challenging time for the entity.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas, now 87, is reported to be in failing health, has not chosen a successor, and has little popular support. He is currently in the 17th year of a four-year term as Palestinian President.

Abbas’ policy of security coordination with Israel has earned him a reputation as a “collaborator” with the Jewish State, making him and his ruling Fatah party unattractive to Palestinians, many of whom state they would prefer to be ruled by the Hamas terror group.

Operation Break the Wave, which has seen the Israeli military carries out anti-terror raids in PA-controlled areas in Judea and Samaria, has also worsened Palestinian public perception of Abbas. The PA appears to have be allowing terrorists to operate freely throughout its territory in Judea and Samaria, as intervening would see Abbas’ popularity plunge even further.