The United States government must conduct an inquiry into the almost USD 3 billion in taxpayer funds that may have been distributed as aid to the Palestinians in part based on fraudulent data provided by the Palestinian Authority, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., chairwoman of the House International Relations Subcommittee on the Middle East, told WorldNetDaily.
The subcommittee last week heard testimony from the leaders of a new study that documents the Palestinians have inflated their population numbers by over 50 percent, in some cases counting residents of certain cities twice.
“U.S. assistance to the Palestinians was based on the population numbers provided by the PA. Recent study shows that the PA numbers were grossly inaccurate. There should be an inquiry as to what happened to the extra funds,” said Ros-Lehtinen.
“U.S. and United Nations future funding to the Palestinian territories should reflect the actual population numbers in the Palestinian territories and not the inflated data provided by the PA.”
Since 1994, the United States has reportedly given nearly USD 1.8 billion in direct aid to the PA and nongovernmental organizations operating in the Palestinian territories, usually delineated through the U.S. Agency for International Development. America has also provided more than USD 1.1 billion to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which oversees Palestinian refugee camps in the West Bank and Gaza, according to State Department records.
U.S. assistance to the Palestinians last year alone reportedly totaled USD 282 million.
American aid to the PA and Palestinian-related agencies, especially to refugee organizations, is devised largely based on Palestinian population figures, a State Department spokesperson said.
PA officials reported the Palestinian population for 2004 in West Bank and Gaza totaled 3.8 million. But an in-depth study led by American researchers Bennet Zimmerman, Roberta Seid and Michael Wise puts the current Palestinian-Arab population of the West Bank at 1.4 million and Gaza 1.1 million, for a total of 2.4 million.
“American tax dollars and other international humanitarian aid have been based on inflated population numbers which have been accepted without question by governments and aid agencies. Our researchers pointed out that money has been spent to help Palestinians who were double-counted, never born or not present in the West Bank and Gaza,” Zimmerman told WND.
Zimmerman’s team found extreme faults in the methods used by the PA to determine its population, including counting the 230,000 Arab residents of Jerusalem twice and retroactively raising growth and birth rates, which the study contends have been declining.
The PA claims a population growth rate of 4 to 5 percent per year, among the highest in the world, but Palestinian Ministry of Health records published annually since 1996 contradict the PA’s own claims by stating growth rates averaging around 3 percent.
It is truly amazing how the current regime in Israel can look anyone square in the eye while being complicit in the decimination of seemingly bogus “Pa” population stats. Can the hate for Religious so blind the regime as to be party to apparent “PA” rip-offs of
For more background on the Demographics Dud, click here. MB