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P.A. Corruption Radicalizing Arab Youth?

Palestinian Authority government, CBN News image

JERUSALEM, Israel – What's the reason behind ongoing terrorism in Israel? Palestinians point to anger over claims of Israel occupation. Others blame it on hopelessness and despair.

But some Palestinians say corruption in their own government, the Palestinian Authority, could be driving young Palestinians to carry out terror attacks.

"In general, people are not feeling safe," one Palestinian with the pseudonym "Ahmed" told CBN News. "If anybody complains against someone who belongs to Fatah [the party of President Mahmoud Abbas] or the P.A. – or against somebody who is related to someone in the P.A. – the police reject the complaint."

Ahmed is one of some 2 million Arabs living under P.A. control in the West Bank, also known as Judea and Samaria.

We've hidden his identity for his protection.
"Even if somebody has been assaulted by someone who belongs to the P.A. and complains, they force him to back down or he is threatened with death or jail," he continued.
The Palestinian Authority government is headquartered in Ramallah, near Jerusalem. Since its establishment in the mid-90s, the U.S. has committed about $5 billion in assistance. That would make Palestinians among the world's largest recipients of foreign aid.

"Sometimes I believe that the Revolutionary Council is the council of corruption and the Executive Committee is a committee to enforce the corruption policy," he said.

P.A. Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah says there's no corruption in the Palestinian Authority.
"Usually if we have any report of any corruption, these people will be brought to justice," said Hamdallah. "This is our policy, but in any country mistakes can happen and you know if anyone commits any of these issues actually, he or she will be brought to justice.  This is for sure."
According to a survey last year, more than 95 percent of Palestinians see their government as corrupt.

"We have freedom of expression in Palestine," said Hamdallah. "People can say anything."
But Ahmed disagrees.

"Everybody knows that once you complain you're putting your life in danger," he said.  

"In the policy of the P.A., if a person has a problem with an official, even if this official asked him for a bribe, the person has to pay even if he has nothing. The PA and the security services come against him and nobody will protect him," Ahmed said.
President Trump says he wants a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians. But Ahmed says lack of peace isn't the problem.

"I want the West and the United Nations to establish an inquiry delegation, an honest one, to inquire into all those crimes that are perpetrated against Palestinians by the P.A.," he said. "I am convinced that once justice will be served, hundreds of those guilty people will be put in prison."
Ahmed said he wants the West and the United Nations to pressure the P.A. to become an honest government. Until then, he says, there will be no state and terrorism will continue."

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