Israel + 1 more

Brussels to investigate Palestinian spending of EU aid money

Brussels (dpa) - The European Union's Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) is to investigate Israeli allegations that E.U. funds to the Palestinian Authority (PA) may have been paid to Palestinian terrorists, the E.U. Commission said Wednesday.
The commission's announcement was made without releasing any further details on the matter.

The Israeli government has, in the past, repeatedly accused the PA of using some of the aid money provided by the E.U. for Palestinian terrorists.

However, the E.U. Commissioner on External Relations, Chris Patten, also repeatedly refuted the Israeli allegations. The use of E.U. aid funds was controlled in detail and each monthly payment to the PA was only made after the complete accounts for the relevant preceding month had been submitted, he said.

Besides a significant amount in humanitarian aid, Brussels pays about 10 million euros per month to boost the PA's budget and help pay some of their wages, for instance, for a number of police units.

About 170 members of the European Parliament had requested to set up a committee of enquiry into the PA's use of the European funds, it was reported. No details were known yet about the launch of such an investigation.

dpa ts ik sp emc sc

Copyright (c) 2003 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH
Received by NewsEdge Insight: 02/05/2003 12:20:35


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