In its latest edition, Times weekly magazine reported that residents of 20 Palestinian villages are planning to sue several Palestinian Authority Officials for damages caused by the construction of the Separation Wall. Their claim is based on the recent accusations that government officials imported cement and sold it to Israeli contractors, who in turn used it to construct the Wall.
Villagers complained that while the PA launched an international campaign against the construction of the West Bank separation wall, a few PA officials were gaining millions of dollars through selling cement to the same contractors who are constructing the wall.
Thousands of Palestinian villagers lost much of their land to the wall and dozens of villages were turned into isolated enclaves.
According to the Times report, influential Palestinian companies imported 420,000 tons of cement from Egypt, bringing 33,000 only to the local market, selling the rest at high profit prices to Israeli contractors.
Palestinian lawmaker, Hassan Khreisheh said Saturday that the Palestinian attorney general is investigating the claims that several Palestinian Authority officials and ministers have helped companies to make millions of dollars by selling 420,000 tons of cement to Israeli firms at a high profit.
In June a parliamentary committee found that at least four Palestinian companies had sold cement imported from Egypt to Israeli firms involved in constructing the West Bank Barrier and homes in West Bank settlements.
The investigation headed up the the Attorney General’s Office was recently ordered by Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat following a serious Palestinian Authority crisis over corruption and reforms.
The Palestinian Legislative Council opened an official investigation on the ‘Egyptian cement case’ two months ago after receiving information from Egyptian firms that Palestinian local firms were facilitating cement sales to Israeli companies to by-pass the boycott imposed over cement sales to Israel.
The PLC investigation committee published its findings three weeks ago and demanded the case be taken up by the Palestinian Attorney General.