Palestinian lawmaker, Hassan Khreisheh said Saturday that the Palestinian attorney general is investigating claims that local companies sold cement to Israel, which was used in the construction of the West Bank separation wall.
Khreisheh said the attorney general would examine suspicions that some Palestinian Authority officials and ministers have helped companies make millions of dollars by selling 420,000 tons of cement to Israeli firms at high profit.
‘The attorney general has started investigating the file we submitted on selling cement to Israelis that goes into building the Wall,’ said Khreisheh,
A parliamentary committee found in June 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 was recently ordered by Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat following a serious Palestinian Authority crisis over corruption and reforms.
‘The Palestinian companies bought the cement for $22 (per ton) and sold it to Israeli firms for $100. The profits went into their pockets, not the budget,’ Khreisheh added.
‘The threats from these people, these gangs, will not scare me,’ Khreisheh said, referring to death threats he has received. ‘I will pursue my work to defend the cause of my people who are killed during protests against the wall.’
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 referred to the Palestinian Attorney General.