Tariq Abbas, 41 in 2007, is married to a lawyer and has three children
Before moving to Ramallah, in 1996, Tariq Abbas experienced the stations of the Palestinian liberation movement's journey in exile. He was born in Qatar and lived there until the age of three, when the family moved to Jordan, but in the wake of the events of September 1970 ("Black September," in Palestinian parlance) - when the Palestinian organizations in Jordan clashed with forces loyal to King Hussein - the Jordanians expelled the leaders of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). His father moved to Lebanon together with the other PLO chiefs, while Tariq was sent to Syria, where he lived and attended school for 11 years. Following another year in Qatar, he studied management for a year in Washington and another year in Canada. In 1989, he joined his family in Tunis (where PLO leaders relocated after the expulsion from Lebanon) and three years later moved to Abu Dhabi, where he lived until 1996.
Clayton Swisher reports (16 June 2016):
The son of the Palestinian Authority president Tareq Abbas is already said to own villas in Amman, Jordan and a rooftop pad in Beirut, Lebanon. Now, according to a review of official British Land Registry records from 2012, the world can know Tareq registered – under his legal name – the purchase of a $1.5m luxury two-bedroom flat in Merchant Square East, one of London's many high-end developments. Realtors hawked Tareq's newest address as a "prestigious waterside building" in a "chic, contemporary style with high-specification amenities and furnishings" within walking distance of an area full of "traditional old English pubs and new bars and restaurants".
...Nor is Tareq the only multimillionaire in the Abbas family. The president's eldest living son, Yasser, made his fortunes from, among other things, the monopoly sale of US-made cigarettes in the occupied territories, offering Lucky Strikes and other carcinogens to Palestine's tobacco-addicted. Which must leave Palestinians wondering: are their financial blessings merely the result of being "Grade A businessmen", as Yasser once famously remarked? The brothers Abbas enjoy a personal wealth that eludes nearly all their compatriots. Average Palestinians could hardly be faulted for questioning whether Papa President played a part. (Attorneys for Yasser claim the reverse is true – that "politics often affects the business of Mr Abbas negatively".) Thankfully, the public now has more information from which to form a view. As recently reported in Ha'aretz, leaked records from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca show Tareq Abbas as having at least $982,000 in shares of the Arab Palestinian Investment Company (APIC), a British Virgin Island incorporated firm where he serves as a board member.
The same tranche of Panama Papers also revealed that the Palestinian Authority's billion-dollar investment portfolio, the Palestinian Investment Fund (PIF), owns 18 percent of APIC.
...As for managing negative publicity, Tareq should know a thing or two about how to minimise it. He has held a variety of profitable leadership functions with the Ramallah-based Sky Advertising Company over the years, and now serves as Sky's Chairman of the Board. During Tareq's tenure, the firm has helped to bring in an eclectic range of international heavyweight companies, including Qatar's Ooredoo/Wataniya Mobile, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), even the BBC World Service. Left off Sky's corporate website is Tareq's earlier involvement in a controversial US government contract, as previously revealed by Reuters news agency. His Sky Advertising Company took a sizeable piece of a $2m tender from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) back in 2006. Sky's specific mission was to "improve the image of the United States in the occupied territories", which then, as now, is sorely in need of improving.
...Alas, nearly 10 years later, we learn that Tareq was kind enough to recycle his hard-earned occupation dollars back into the Western economy. To the country, no less, that gave rise to Lord Balfour and his declaration promising another people a home on the land where his father once lived. The octogenarian long ago ceded his own right to return and live in Safed some day. And the two-state prospect President Abbas held out for all these years is now more remote than ever. As for his son, if there won't be Palestine, there will always be London. And I suspect the child of privilege does not care if you know he can enjoy it at any time.
Fatah officials claimed that [Mahmoud] Abbas wasn’t personally involved in the selection process, so, for example, he wasn’t the one who nominated his two sons, Tarek and Yasser. But the marginalized veteran Fatah member added that the problem wasn’t the senior positions of some family members – this was always the case in Fatah – but the blurring of the vision by inserting personal interests.