An examination of the payrolls of the Palestinian Authority's National
Security force, considered the largest of the Palestinian security forces,
commanded by General Haj Ismail Jabber, has revealed that salaries for
7,000 fictitious troopers were being paid into his pocket every month.
The salaries for police at the lower ranks range from $300-400 a month,
which means that some $2 million a month from PA funds was being paid to
For the past eight months donor countries have been demanding the PA stop
the practice of handing over the cash payrolls of the security services to
the commanders of each of the separate forces, for them to hand out as pay
to their subordinates.
The donor countries, including the European Union and other countries have
been demanding PA Finance Minister Salam Fayyad cease the practice, and
indeed, during the government of Mahmoud Abbas, troops from parts of the
Preventive Security force, the police and civil defense units were paid
through direct payments into their bank accounts. According to Abbas, some
22 percent of the Palestinian police were paid that way during his term.
But over the same period Haj Imsail, backed by Yasser Arafat, refused to
provide a list of his troops, which led to clashes with Fayyad, including
attacks on the PA's treasury offices in Gaza.
Stepped-up pressure on Fayyad by donor countries to come up with the full
payroll lists, combined with a PA budget deficit in the hundreds of
millions of dollars that makes the PA desperate for the donations, led a
few days ago to the transfer to the PA treasury of a diskette with the
full list of names of people receiving salaries from Haj Ismail. And
there, it turned out that while Haj Ismail was claiming salaries for
37,000 people, there were only 30,000 on the list.
In addition, it turned out that Haj Ismail was receiving the salaries for
his troops according to the exchange rate used in Israel, around NIS 4.5
to the dollar, while he paid his troops according to NIS 3.7 to the
dollar, a rate used by the PA. That gap meant another half a million
dollars a month went into his pocket. Today, for the first time, the
National Security forces will be paid their March salaries through their
bank accounts instead of in cash. And Haj Ismail's secret extra salary
will cease flowing to him.