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Why is the PA again hiding its financial documents?

Maurice Hirsch, Adv.  |
  • Despite missing financial transparency, the EU continues to support the PA financially

While constantly complaining to the world about its alleged financial crisis and begging the international community to increase its aid, the Palestinian Authority is once again hiding its financial reports.

Since 2008, as part of an agreement to receive funding from the World Bank, the Palestinian Authority has been required to publish a range of financial documents, including its annual budget and monthly budget performance reports.

While the PA temporarily honored the commitment to publish its annual budget, it has not done so since 2019.

In contrast, with the exception of a few minor incidents exposed by Palestinian Media Watch and then rectified, the PA had been relatively meticulous in publishing its monthly budget performance reports.

While the PA decided, in March-April 2022, to stop publishing its budget performance reports, the PA backtracked on this soon after PMW exposed the decision, and by July had returned to publishing all the budget performance reports.

The limited financial documents provided by the PA were all published on the website of the PA’s Ministry of Finance.

For over a month, the entire PA Ministry of Finance website has disappeared from the internet. 

Despite the missing transparency, the “European Joint Strategy in support of Palestine, 2021-2024 Towards a democratic, accountable and sustainable Palestinian state” declares that since 2008 – the year the PA was required to demonstrate even the most basic financial transparency - “EU, EU Member States, Norway and Switzerland have disbursed around USD 1 billion annually in official development assistance to Palestine and the Palestinians.” The EU has also committed to providing more aid to the PA.

While financial transparency should critical for donor countries when assessing the aid needs of the PA, it would appear that this is just another one of the malfeasances of the PA donor countries are willing to ignore. This should not be the case. So long as the PA continues to hide its finances, the international community should be respond by immediately halting all financial assistance to the PA.