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01:30 | 03/16/18

PA officials living large at 5-star hotel: $14,250 bill, including champagne

1 minute read.
IMPOVERISHED CHILDREN in Gaza City’s Shati refugee camp. (photo credit: MOHAMMED SALEM/REUTERS) IMPOVERISHED CHILDREN in Gaza City’s Shati refugee camp. (photo credit: MOHAMMED SALEM/REUTERS)
Luxury living in the midst of a humanitarian crisis.
With the US announcing cuts in aid money to the Palestinians, one might think the Palestinian Authority would try to cut expenses, but an invoice from a hotel stay by top Palestinian officials this month indicates the exact opposite.

The document, obtained by The Jerusalem Post, shows that PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki and General Intelligence Service chief Majed Faraj, as well as two lower-level officials, stayed at the five-star Four Seasons Hotel in Baltimore, racking up a $14,250.20 bill, including room service and minibar purchases such as $42 on champagne, and a $4 Snickers bar.

The entire bill was covered by the PLO Delegation to the US.

The luxury hotel stay came not long after President Donald Trump said the US will no longer send aid money to Ramallah until the Palestinian leadership negotiates with Israel, and after the State Department cut $110 million of aid money to UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees and their descendants. The US is UNRWA’s largest donor. On Thursday, a dozen countries pledged a total of $100m. to UNRWA.

Among Faraj’s expenses was a $900 “miscellaneous charges” fee, plus several room service meals, including a $140.09 breakfast, and a late-night room service snack costing $91.31. He also raided the minibar, spending $32 on snacks in one day, including $8 each for some cashews and cookies, and racked up $120 in laundry charges.

Faraj, a close adviser to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, underwent heart surgery during his stay in the US. At the same time, Abbas was reportedly receiving a routine checkup at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

Rayad Faraj, who works with Faraj in the PA intelligence sector, also ordered room service several times, including the $42 on champagne.

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said “the Palestinians are the population that received the most donations and aid per capital from the international community. 
“As long as the money goes to senior PA officials and to pay terrorists’ families, the international will to help the Palestinians is wasted on hedonism and terrorism,” Hotovely stated.

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