PA Budget: Lost in Translation or Creative Accounting 101?

Every month, the Palestinian Authority publishes a monthly budget performance reports in Arabic, and for the international donor community a translation is published in English. The Arabic and English reports with hundreds of entries should be identical, which they are, except for one item in all the reports since February 2020: the Arabic includes the budget entry “Commission for Prisoners and Released” – which ostensibly documents the PA salaries to terrorists – while this entry is missing from the English.

The photo here above the Arabic chart with Palestinian Media Watch’s translation. Note the fourth sub-category (highlighted in yellow) which is in the Arabic – “Commission for Prisoners and Released Prisoners” – is missing in the English.

To date, the PA has not given in to international demands to stop paying salaries to terrorists. The Director of the Commission of Prisoners Qadri Abu Bakr himself told Palestinian TV that all the salaries continue to be paid in 2020. “Regarding the salaries, everything was perfect [yesterday]… We haven’t received a single call [of complaint] from any prisoner. They (i.e., family members) went to the banks and it was paid to them.”

PA budget reports differ from Arabic to English, by Maurice Hirsch, Adv. and Itamar Marcus. Palestinian Media Watch – August 25, 2020

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