Palestinians, vaccines, and Mahmoud Abbas’s luxury private jet

The Palestinian Authority consists of a small, corrupt and wealthy elite that has no regard whatsoever for the well-being of its people.

The Mission of the State of Palestinian (MSP) had a letter published in the Irish Times on Monday, dealing with the issue of Israel’s alleged failure to provide Covid19 vaccines for Palestinians. In another letter just above it, the Israeli ambassador to Ireland dealt very comprehensively with the overall question. However, some points in the MSP’s correspondence deserve closer scrutiny.

The letter states that the Palestinian “health system is badly underfunded and relies on help from NGOs and international aid”. This may well be the case but to blame it on the Israeli presence seems rather perplexing when one considers the hundreds of millions that the Palestinian Authority (PA) wastes annually on expenditures that are of no benefit to its people.

The 'Pay for Slay' Policy

The most recent figures suggest that the PA is spending close to US$400m annually on its “pay for slay” campaign whereby Palestinians convicted of terrorist atrocities against Israelis are paid a substantial salary per month. We have discussed this before in articles such as here and here, highlighting how Irish taxpayers’ money assists in the funding of this.
A BBJ luxury business jet

Mahmoud's Toy

Then there’s Mahmoud Abbas’s luxury private jet, purchased from Boeing for a cool 50 million US dollars. It’s a BBJ1 Boeing Business Jet which means that the interior can include such facilities as “a master bedroom, a washroom with showers, a conference/dining area, and a living area“. Apparently, Abu Mazen’s toy spends much of its time unused at Amman airport.

It’s difficult to say exactly how much one dose of a vaccine would cost since there are different prices for each vaccine. However, if the prices in this link are anything to go by, the average cost would work out at about US$10-12 per dose. The 50 million dollars spent on Abbas’s jet would thus buy some 4-5 million vaccine doses, pretty much enough to give one dose to each Palestinian person in Gaza, Judea and Samaria. 

Like many undemocratic regimes in the Middle East, the Palestinian Authority consists of a small, corrupt and wealthy elite who have no regard whatsoever for the well-being of their people. Nor do they have any shame in thrusting out the begging bowl even while they squander hundreds of millions of dollars and euro on follies. Western NGOs and journalists with their always-blame-Israel attitudes are their greatest allies and enablers. The only question is whether they do so naively or willfully. 

By Ciarán Ó Raghallaigh

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