Yisrael Beitenu on Sunday asked Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein and State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss to look into whether the Palestinian Authority was funding Israeli Arab parties in the Knesset.
In an interview with Arab media last month cited by the The Jerusalem Post, Muhammad Rashid, the former economic adviser to the late Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat, revealed that ahead of the general elections in Israel, the PA transferred funds to Arab parties in a bid to increase their power in the Knesset.
Rashid, who currently lives in London, was quoted as saying that current Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas used to “take millions of dollars from the Palestinian Authority and the private sector under the pretext of helping Arab parties in Israeli elections.”
Rashid did not say which Israeli parties received funding from Abbas
In a letter sent Sunday, Yisrael Beitenu Director-General MK Faina Kirshenbaum, said, "the above-mentioned claims raise concerns regarding what appear to be serious violations of the Parties Financing Law and the Parties Law ."
The letter goes on to cite excerpts from the said laws, including:
— "A party group or candidates' list shall not, directly or indirectly, receive any contribution from a body corporate whether in Israel or abroad."
— "A party group or candidates' list shall not receive contributions other than from a voter within its meaning in the Elections Law."
— "A party group or candidates' list shall not receive anonymous contributions."
The letter also quotes the part of the law saying, "A person who does any of the following shall be liable to imprisonment for a term of one year:
— "Knowingly makes a financial undertaking that is not in accordance with the permission given and published pursuant to the provisions of this Law.
— "Knowingly receives on behalf of a party group or on behalf of a candidates' list a contribution in violation of the provisions of this Law.
Additionally, Kirshenbaum stated in the letter that "if the aforementioned claims are found to be true, then, and since, the origins of the funds are unknown, another grave concern arises that the source of the funds (which were obtained by the PA from some other source) is terrorist groups and other like groups. It is clear that if these funds did come from terrorist groups, and if this was known to the receiving parties, they could face even harsher consequences."