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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

On June 12, a popular and prolific Palestinian columnist named Jihad el-Khazen wrote an article for the pan-Arab London-based Al Hayat that caused a sensation.

El-Khazen interviewed an unnamed senior Gulf official who sharply criticized President Obama, saying he was acting more as a professor than a president and saying that perhaps Donald Trump would be a better president. He called Obama's Middle East strategy a disaster: "He pulled out of Iraq and then returned. He reduced US forces in Afghanistan and then increased them. He drew red lines in Syria and then ignored them. He says the Saudis are allies, but then he is not serious in cooperating with them. He accuses us in the Arab coalition of killing civilians; the Americans killed in Iraq and Afghanistan hundreds of thousands of civilians, and now they are blaming us. The situation between the Gulf and Washington has gone from bad to worse."

Crown Prince Zayed of Abu Dhabi
That wasn't the controversial part in the Arab world. This was:

The Gulf official told me that the entire leadership of the Palestinian National Authority must resign, there is no confidence. He asked me, "Have you heard about the PA deal with the United Arab Emirates?" I told him I definitely hadn't and asked him for clarification.

He said that the UAE had for four years subsidized the Palestinian Authority by about $500 million a year, and that he personally carried a symbolic Palestinian keffiyeh in solidarity with the Palestinians.

[Former PA prime minister] Salam Fayyad came to Abu Dhabi, saying he decided to establish a non-governmental organization. Officials in Abu Dhabi chose to support his association with ten million dollars.

They were surprised when the prosecutor general of the Palestinian Authority froze the transfer of $700 thousand dollars to the NGO of Salam Fayyad, and accused the Emirates of trying to launder money through the Palestinian territories.

The official said angrily, "Can you believe that the UAE would choose to launder funds through the Palestinian territories and that the amount is only 700 thousand dollars?"

The Emirates are now demanding the Palestinian president to apologize publicly, and have stopped all aid to the Palestinian Authority.
The official PA Wafa news agency and Fatah went bananas over this. They said that the el-Khazen article was an "obscenity" and asked Al Hayat why they would choose to publish such "vulgarity." They are also demanding that  Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed answer whether he really has the opinions mentioned in the article towards the PA.

But there was no denial that funds had been suspended to the PA.

The Arab world once again are showing how sick they are of the Palestinian issue and their corruption. The West should be wondering Arabs who know the PA well and have supported them for decades are now cool towards their "brethren."



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