Activities 2023

The ongoing Palestinian division and establishment of two separate ruling authorities (one in the West Bank and another in the Gaza Strip) legitimized and fueled political corruption

The ongoing Palestinian division and establishment of two separate ruling authorities (one in the West Bank and another in the Gaza Strip) legitimized and fueled political corruption

AMAN Coalition Launches its 15th Annual Report on the Status of Integrity and Anti-Corruption in the Gaza Strip in 2022

The ongoing Palestinian division and establishment of two separate ruling authorities (one in the West Bank and another in the Gaza Strip) legitimized and fueled political corruption


Gaza – The Coalition for Accountability and Integrity (AMAN) launched its annual report on the developments related to integrity and anti-corruption in 2022 in the Gaza Strip, Palestine. This was done after the report’s release was postponed due to the Israeli aggression on Gaza. This report had the slogan: "Occupation, Division, and Political Corruption: A Closed Loop that Feeds Each Other". The report focused on the current political corruption emanating from the environment enabled by the unilateral political system, which allows senior officials to evade their official obligation of serving the general interest in public positions. These persons manipulate the powers granted to them in managing public funds and affairs, in order to attain personal benefits or escape punishment.

The report presents specific recommendations to Palestinian decision-makers and stakeholders, in order to help them adopt procedures and measures that enhance the national system of integrity and fortify it against corruption. The report stresses the need for having senior officials take decisions that serve the interest of citizens and the general public, in order to restore citizens’ trust in state institutions. This would, in turn, contribute to alleviating the burdens of the current period.

Israel’s racist, non-transparent, and dishonest policy in managing financial relations with the Palestinian Ministry of Finance

Dr. Kamal El-Sharafi, Deputy Chair of the Board of Directors of AMAN Coalition, began his speech at the conference with particular emphasis on Israel’s perpetuation of a racist policy that violates the national and civil rights of Palestinians. This includes seizing Palestinian wealth and natural resources, exploiting their public resources, and enabling Israeli settlers to seize occupied Palestinian territories. The Israeli occupation also prevents the building of effective Palestinian institutions that serve the people. El-Sharafi also spoke about the continued monopoly of Israeli officers over the granting of permits and approvals related to Palestinian movement and trade, without the presence of any serious or responsible oversight over their work. This paved the way for the rampant phenomena of extortion and bribery merely to provide the basic rights of movement, building, and use of private and public lands.

Dr. Kamal El-Sharafi also noted that, according to most opinion polls, the majority of Palestinian citizens (during 2022) expressed a state of frustration and loss of trust in the two authorities, whether in the West Bank (WB) or Gaza Strip (GS). Also, most Palestinians considered the subject of corruption among the main issues/problems facing the Palestinian people. For example, a public opinion poll in September 2022 regarding the reality of corruption and anti-corruption in Palestine showed that the Palestinian public opinion is pessimistic, and that, alongside the economic crisis, the main challenges that must be tackled are combating corruption, Israeli occupation policies, weak rule of law, and the ongoing [Palestinian] division.

The continued division and decline in the integrity of government in the West Bank and Gaza Strip reinforced political corruption

Mr. Wael Ba’alousha, Director of AMAN’s Gaza Office, spoke about the effect of the Palestinian division on the executive, legislative, and judicial authorities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. He also highlighted the desire of the political authorities in both areas to hold on to power and positions and control decision-making centers (in favor of the political authority). This was done by adopting policies and decisions that serve the political authority and certain beneficiary parties without regard to the public interest, thereby deepening institutional disintegration.

Decline of democracy and abolishing the elected legislative authority

The report shows that the current authority in the Gaza Strip kept taking unilateral actions in administering public affairs and funds. These measures were taken to stabilize their power by controlling decision-making centers within the legislative, executive, and judicial authorities. Gaza’s authority also maintained the survival of a Legislative Council whose constitutional term had been expired, as well as controlling the formation of the Judicial Council. Moreover, they were reluctant to hold local council elections in the Gaza Strip. For example, they refused to hold local council elections in the years 2012, 2017, 2021, and 2022, hence local council elections took place only in the West Bank. Meanwhile, the governing authority in the Gaza Strip simply selects and appoints new local/municipal council members and changes them as they desire.

Nepotism during appointment to senior positions in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip

The executive authority [in both the WB and GS] kept its grip over governance and decision-making centers through the political regime’s control over appointments related to key positions. This was done without considering the principle of transparency, standards of competence, merit, fairness, and eligibility. Rather, they used other criteria, such as the level of loyalty to the ruling regime. Moreover, the authority in the Gaza Strip continued to monopolize its Council of Ministers to control the appointment of administrative officials in charge of managing public affairs and funds.

Continued attempts to restrict civil society spaces by necessitating requests for a permit or notification from the Ministry of Interior

In 2022, the authority in the Gaza Strip imposed restrictive measures on the work of civil society organizations and freedom of peaceful assembly. This was done by necessitating a request for a permit or notification from the Ministry of Interior (Police Service/Institutional Investigation Department). The said request must specify the nature and reasons of any institutional activity several days prior to its occurrence. For example, security forces stopped and prevented a number of activities held in closed spaces, such as the celebration of [International] Human Rights Day; preventing the holding of a workshop at the “Filistiniyyat” association; banning a sports activity for girls below the age of 12 on the pretext that it is inconsistent with social and Islamic values; and summoning a member of that organization to the General Investigation Department to interrogate and receive detailed information about that activity.

The said measures violate the freedom of work of charitable societies and contravene Palestinian laws, especially the right to form charitable societies and the freedom of peaceful assembly. This in turn weakened the governance integrity due to adopting policies, decisions, and measures that serve the beliefs and orientations of the ruling party in the Gaza Strip by weakening or “domesticating” Palestinian social movements.

AMAN’s monitoring of senior appointments in general administrative positions

The report indicates that the current authority in the Gaza Strip kept a strong grip over high-level positions within the system of governance. This was done by adopting a centralized administrative policy through the “Government Action Follow-up Committee”, which monopolized the power of appointing their preferred senior officials in key administrative positions. This committee rotates senior officials in the different positions of governance and administration. It is comprised of staunch supporters of the ruling party, strengthened their grip over the main public authorities, and subordinated their decisions to the interest of the political authority.

Level of participation and transparency in managing public funds in the Gaza Strip

The ruling authority in the Gaza Strip did not publish reports on any General Budget items, whether the public revenues that it collects from citizens, or the public expenditures spent by them. Moreover, they refrain from holding consultations with civil society organizations (CSOs) to determine national priorities and needs. Furthermore, they did not publish any periodic data on how they managed the 2022 budget. In 2022, the ruling authority in the Gaza Strip discussed a number of draft laws and regulations, such as the new Land Law bill, regulations on projects for generating electric power from renewable energy sources, and regulations on the activities of renewable energy companies. However, this was done without consultation or community discussion with different parties and partners from the private and civil sectors, such as CSO, specialized research centers, and partner federations and associations.

Additionally, the Government Action Follow-up Committee unilaterally published the Strategic Framework document for 2022-2024 and the Development Plan for 2022-2024 for the southern governorates, without engaging the civil society organizations.

Reality of public procurement processes and their level of transparency in the Gaza Strip

The year 2022 witnessed the announcement of 112 bids on the website of the Ministry of Finance in the Gaza Strip for a number of ministries and institutions. Despite an improvement in publishing information related to the procurement process, such as introducing a requirements booklet and an awarding system, this platform still does not provide detailed information on public procurements. For example, they did not publish periodic reports on the volume of government purchases, summary of procurement contracts signed with companies, or information on contracts signed directly with companies and the reasons for contracting with them. They also failed to mention the sources of amounts allocated to projects, blacklist of companies violating goods and service provision contracts in recent years, and the penalties imposed against such companies according to the law.

Lack of transparency in managing security sector budgets and administering state-owned lands

  1. The security services and the Ministry of Interior in the Gaza Strip neither published the budget allocated to the security sector nor information related to security sector procurements.
  2. In both the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the government does not publish the names of beneficiaries from state-owned lands, nor do they give citizens the right to view data related to persons, officials, and political party members who obtained special concessions (privileges) for themselves or their relatives to freely dispose of state-owned lands and endowment properties. Also, both governments did not mention the conditions of using state-owned lands in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and the measures taken against parties in the event of non-compliance with the aforementioned conditions. This was the case in spite of forming governmental committees to confront the misuse of state lands. Also, there were no concrete steps to end these infringements, and no reports were published regarding the work of these committees.

Weak official oversight on the political authority and the level of effectiveness of accountability systems

In the Gaza Strip, the State Audit and Administrative Control Bureau (SAACB) continued to submit its annual report to the Legislative Council (Reform and Change Bloc) regarding its oversight work on governmental institutions and local and civil councils. However, these reports had not been published, which prevents us from knowing these institutions’ level of responsiveness to the said bureau’s reports in the Gaza Strip. Despite the numerous requests of the Legislative Council to allow the publication of the SAACB report, this report had neither been published by the end of 2022 nor was there a summary of it.

Most public institutions in the Gaza Strip, including ministries and non-ministerial bodies, did not submit any annual reports on their work in 2022. Rather, they simply issued some reports talking about their achievements, without linking that to ministerial plans and the faced challenges. They also did not mention what they failed to achieve from the adopted plans. Until now, there is still a very limited number of public institutions that issue reports.





Governmental complaint reports are still quite traditional..

In the Gaza Strip, the number of complaints received by the Board of Grievances and public institutions during the period of 1/1/2022 - 31/12/2022 was 25,880 complaints. 24,464 of these had been closed and 1,416 are still pending.

Most of the complaints received by the Ministry of Labor are related to benefiting from the temporary employment program and inquiries about work permit applications in Israel. As for the Ministry of Social Development, the vast majority (96%) of received complaints are related to the Qatari grant, the file of martyrs of the 2014 War, renovation of houses of poor families, and health insurance. There are also complaints related to the poor economic and social conditions due to delays in disbursing cash assistance payments (“Ministry of Affairs cheques”), and complaints for receiving urgent medical assistance instead of later treatment. On the other hand, the main complaints received at the Ministry of Interior were related to mistreatment by employees, nature of services provided by the Ministry, abuse of power, illegal detention, the right to public office jobs, failure to implement court decisions, and others.

Formation of two fact-finding committees by the Change and Reform Bloc in the Legislative Council without disclosing their results

In 2022, there was the formation of two fact-finding committees related to violations of some companies operating in the agricultural field, as well as suspicions of breaches at Nuseirat Municipality. Three questions were posed: one was for the Head of the Government Action Follow-up Committee regarding the incidents at the Bedouin village. The other question was directed to the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Social Development vis-à-vis what was stated in the report of the State Audit and Administrative Control Bureau (SAACB) concerning emergency aid received in the Gaza Strip during the Israeli aggression on Gaza in May 2021. As for the third question, it was directed to the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities with regard to touristic establishments. However, the results of these questions have not been disclosed.

Until now, the existing authority in the Gaza Strip did not activate the Illegal Gains Law. They also do not disclose the financial assets of Government Action Follow-up Committee members, Legislative Council (Change and Reform Bloc) members, and senior officials. Moreover, no legislation was issued to prevent conflicts of interest and the system of gifts and protect witnesses and whistleblowers in cases of corruption.

The restoration of democratic life requires setting a date for holding general elections:

Dr. Kamal El-Sharafi outlined a set of detailed recommendations based on the results and conclusions, which call for adopting a general reform strategy that enhances political integrity as a prelude to anti-corruption. This can be done by immediately announcing a date for holding general elections and forming a national government to restore democratic life, end the internal division, and eliminate the current environment that promotes political corruption. It is also imperative to call upon all civil society organizations (including federations, unions, and associations) to form a national coalition to press for holding elections and provide suggestions to the leadership to overcome the hurdles that prevent the election process. Furthermore, it is vital to mobilize the international community to oblige the Israeli occupation to adhere to the elections protocol agreed upon between them and the Palestinian Authority to ensure that these elections would run smoothly in [the Palestinian capital] Jerusalem.

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