Among the filmed reports offered to readers of the BBC News website’s Middle East page on October 26th 2013 was an item from its business section titled “Palestinian Authority second worst for wealth disparity” by Ola Naguib.
In its attempt to explain the Palestinian Authority’s current – and seemingly evergreen – budget deficit, the report does briefly touch on the subject of salaries and benefits paid to members of the inactive Palestinian Legislative Council but fails to sufficiently clarify to viewers that in addition, an estimated 60,000 PA employees (some 40% of the total) reside in the Gaza Strip where the PA not functioned for over six years. The report also makes no mention of serious allegations of corruption which are far from new – but were recently highlighted by European auditors – or of the fact that some 6% of the PA budget is spent on salaries for imprisoned terrorists, including those affiliated with Hamas.
The subject of the terminally ailing finances of the Palestinian Authority is certainly one which would probably be of considerable interest to BBC audiences – especially those in the donor countries supporting the PA. However, there is far more to the subject of the PA budget deficit than “wealth disparity”, as some in depth, accurate and impartial reporting would reveal.