Abu Mazen's $13m Ramallah palace angers Hamas

Abu Mazen
Abu Mazen

The PA is supposedly unable to pay salaries to its workers.

While Israel is busy debating the expenses of the Prime Minister's residence, the Palestinian Authority (PA) is in a frenzy about pictures of the extravagant palace under construction by PA chairman Abu Mazen. The building, construction of which began two years ago near the village of Surda, north of Ramallah, occupies a 44-dunam (11-acre) site, and has four storeys, a very large garden, fountains, a helicopter pad, and a six-meter-high external wall. Additional reports claim that this palace also contains a luxury swimming pool, closed water and electricity systems, and an underground bunker.

The PA's announcement said that at Abu Mazen's orders, the palace would be built in royal style and decorated with Islamic motifs. The announcement also stated that the palace "would be used to house heads of state from around the world visiting Palestine, as is proper for a developed and respectable country."

This week, Abu Mazen ordered the budgeting of more money for completing the construction of the palace, and Arab media reported that its cost had reached $13 million. This is an enormous amount, given the dire economic situation in the PA, where many people live in poverty and need, and given that the PA is unable to pay salaries to its employees.

Only this week, Abu Mazen said that reconstruction of the Gaza Strip following Operation Protective Edge headed the PA's list of priorities, and called on the countries that had promised financial and humanitarian aid to stop "spilling Palestinian blood," and to deliver the necessary aid to residents of the Gaza Strip, "some of whom lack food and drinking water."

As could be expected, this megalomaniacal project is under severe attack in many social networks and media outlets. "While Abu Mazen calls on the world for aid in the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, he is wasting the Palestinian national funds on ostentation and waste," a media outlet identified with Hamas charged.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on August 27, 2015

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2015

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