PA Denies Construction of $13 Million Personal Presidential Palace

The Ramallah residence remains listed by a PLO-website and, as planned, boasts staff quarters and 2 helipads.

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Plans for the Presidential Guest Palace in Surda, Ramallah.
Plans for the Presidential Guest Palace in Surda, Ramallah.Credit: PECDAR

Palestinian Authority officials denied reports by Western media of a $13 million personal presidential palace being constructed for Mahmoud Abbas.

Sources from the Palestinian Authority denied the palace was being built as a personal residence for its current president or being funded with public money, according to Palestinian news agency Ma'an.

The palace will instead serve as a leadership headquarters and residence to receive world leaders.

"Claims that the palace is a personal home for Abbas are 'fake' and created as an attempt to pressure Abbas," the agency added its sources as having said.

Palestinian Authority officials additionally say the palace is being funded by international donations and a windfall from Palestinian corporations, not taxpayers.

The Presidential Guest Palace in Surda, Ramallah remains listed on the future projects page of the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction's (PECDAR) website.

Most plans on the site are funded by international donors, such as a $7.2 million court complex in Hebron, funded by the Government of Canada, or a $4.5 million drug warehouse in Nablus bankrolled by the French government.

Plans for the palace published on the PECDAR website include two helipads and separate accommodation for administration and security staff set across 25,000m2 of land. The PECDAR website says the project is set to take two years to complete.

Earlier this year it was revealed the Palestinian Authority’s deficit was set to reach $2 billion. Israeli news site Arutz Sheva alleged the fact that the palace was being constructed amid these financial pressures shed light on “massive corruption in the PA."

Last year Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu submitted plans for a joint office-residence complex in Jerusalem. The property was recently approved by government and is set to cost $188 million.

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