'ARAFAT USED AID MONEY TO BUY WEAPONS'
By Yaakov Katz.
Yasser Arafat transferred millions of dollars in international aid and taxes transferred to the Palestinian Authority by Israel to purchase large quantities of weapons, the PA chairman's former financial aide, Fuad Shubaki, has told the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency). Some of the Israeli money, Shubaki told his investigators, was also used to fund Palestinian terror groups.
Shubaki was apprehended two months ago during an IDF raid on the Jericho prison where he was being held together with Ahmed Sa'adat - leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - and the other assassins of former Israeli tourism minister Rehavan Ze'evi. Prior to his imprisonment in Jericho, Shubaki served as the chief financial officer for the Palestinian security forces and as such was the mastermind behind the Karine A weapons ship caught by the IDF loaded with advanced weaponry in the Red Sea in 2002 as it was making its way to the Gaza Strip.
Under Arafat's direction, Shubaki, 64, told his interrogators, high-ranking PA security officials were involved in manufacturing and purchasing weapons in addition to funding terror groups in their war against Israel.
Shubaki estimated that $7-10 million were used every two years to purchase arms for the Gaza Strip, and another $2 million were spent on weapons for the West Bank. The money, he said, came from international aid to the PA, tax money Israel routinely transferred to the PA and taxes collected in the Gaza Strip. Shubaki confessed to involvement in the purchasing of weapons for the head of the Tanzim terror group in Gaza, used in attacks against military installations and Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip.
He revealed that several senior Palestinian officials were involved in the allocation of the money to military purposes. Among them was Jibril Rajoub - head of the PA Preventative Security Force in the West Bank - who together with the other officials received payments for his part in the weapons purchases. Following the outbreak of violence in September 2000, Shubaki told his interrogators that Arafat ordered the appointment of PA officials in various Arab countries to facilitate the arms purchases. The PA officials would transfer Shibaki their arm-deal proposals and he would then take them to Arafat for final approval.
In 2001, Shubaki said, Iran offered to assist the Palestinians in training soldiers, providing weapons and funding the construction of weapon factories. Arafat, he said, rejected the offer - made to Shubaki during a meeting with Iranian officials in Dubai - fearing it was an Iranian plot to undermine his rule.
One of the largest weapon deals struck between Iran and the Palestinians was the attempt to smuggle over 50 tons of armaments aboard the Karine A ship in 2002. Shubaki revealed that the transaction was coordinated between the PA, Hizbullah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.
In addition to the light weaponry used by the Palestinians at the time, the Karine A also carried Sagger guided anti-tank missiles used by Hizbullah against Israeli armor in Lebanon, LAW anti-tank missiles, long-range mortars, and mines. Also on board the vessel were short and long-range Katyusha, including 122 mm rockets with a range of some 20 kilometers. The ship was eventually intercepted by Naval commandos en-route to Gaza 500 km off of Israel's coast.
Arafat also received weapons for FREE
Jerusalem Post 05/17/2006
Arafat didn't always have to use UN & EU funds to buy weapons. He sometimes got them for free. After Rabin & Arafat signed the Oslo "peace" accords , Shimon Peres and Yossi Beilin (the Oslo "architects) transferred masses of weapons to their (not not our) peace partner to use, wait for it, to "fight terrorism" !! They expected an arch-terrorist would fight against terrorism (i.e. against himself!) to "protect" Israelis. That he would do what Israel should do itself! A large section of the Israeli public had more sense than their leaders and held frequent massive demos with large banners pleading "Don't give them weapons." But Peres & Beilin and all the Left, (even alas Rabin) contemptuously dismissed our warnings even as rivers of innocent Israeli blood flowed down our streets. Peres later even convinced the CIA to train PA police in sharp-shooting which resulted in more Israeli dead including the targeted murder of a Jewish baby girl in Hebron by one of the CIA-trained snipers.
May. 17, 2006 21:39 |
The elephant in the room
The arrests of several hundred Palestinian illegal workers in Israel on Monday and Tuesday are another sorry indication of just how moribund the Palestinian economy has become. It is now so impaired that these men were willing to risk the dangers of infiltrating Israel, as well as arrest once here, just to hold a job - while spending their nights in tunnels and holes in the center of the country, in some cases sleeping next to piles of feces. In the territories, meanwhile, some 140,000 Palestinian Authority employees continue to be denied their salaries while, all too frequently, the "application process" for employment includes the storming of government buildings by armed men who then demand jobs.
But the Palestinian economy was in dire straits - due primarily to corruption and absence of planning - long before Hamas's ascension to power resulted in the withholding of financial support by the international community. Over the last decade billions of dollars were donated with few tangible, and almost no self-sustaining, benefits to show for such well-meant assistance.
There is Orwellian irony in the fact that Hamas was elected as the "Reform & Change List," given its continued dedication to war with Israel and to eliminating the Jewish State. The resultant withholding of direct funding by international donor states, and, not unreasonably, Israel itself, has led only to the exacerbation of what had already become an untenable economic situation for Palestinians.
Thus it is not only Hamas's terror-cultivating intransigence towards Israel's existence but also the PA's dysfunctional economy which should motivate the international community to insist that Hamas comply with its conditions for direct funding: renunciation of violence, recognition of Israel's right to exist and honoring of existing agreements between Israel and the PA. Beyond the fact that these stipulations form the minimal foundation on which a workable peace could ever be built, those who are truly concerned with the daily economic struggles of the average Palestinian should be adamant that Hamas do what will most benefit the people who elected it with hopes of "reform and change."
The EU is currently expending notable effort to design a complex mechanism through which humanitarian aid can be delivered to the Palestinians without being touched by the Hamas-led government. In essence the EU is trying to tiptoe around the "elephant in the room" which is Hamas's terrorism-supporting, anti-Israel stance. Israel, too, is caught in the dilemma, anxious to avoid a Palestinian humanitarian crisis but also to turn up the "change or fail" economic pressure on the Hamas-led PA.
The trouble is that merely preventing Hamas from directly accessing international aid is not going to force it to modify its opposition to Israel's existence any time soon. Why change such policies when the Palestinians who put it in power are being subsidized by the rest of the world? The arrival of international funding, however stringent the controls on how it is channeled, will improve conditions in the PA areas and thus ease pressure on Hamas, boosting its prospects of maintaining its rule without moderating its policies.
Even as it prepares to funnel the most basic and essential humanitarian aid, therefore, the international community must internalize the lessons of having thrown money into the bottomless pit of a terror-ridden, corrupt and economically directionless PA. For all the years that they allowed their financial assistance to be abused by an immoral leadership, donors - like any investors looking for return on their investment - should have insisted on a "business plan," an overall strategy intended ultimately to reduce the Palestinians' dependence on international aid, a strategy that would by definition have necessitated constructive interaction with Israel. They should have set out the goals to be achieved with donated funds, and the benchmarks for determining progress. And the funding should have been explicitly conditioned on such progress.
So long as it is led by an unreconstructed Hamas, of course, to even talk of a recovery
plan for the PA is pointless and misguided. For now, the international community, and Israel, need to concentrate on minimizing the benefits that Hamas can derive from donors' humane instinct to alleviate suffering - even when those who are suffering brought their plight upon themselves by electing a terror group as their leadership.
Articles from Jerusalem Post 17th May 2006.
THE HAMAS CHARTER
Interviews with Hamas women
Hamas in its own words
A CRY FROM THE HEART
Has there ever been a peace process?
CAN ISLAM MAKE PEACE WITH ISRAEL?
WHY DID YASSER ARAFAT SIGN THE OSLO ACCORD?
The treaty of Hudabiyyah
The treaty between Saladin and Richard I
Peace? What peace?
Sermons in Palestinian mosques
The truth about Arafat and the Palestinians
Yasser Arafat over the years
Aid money used for weapons
Obituary of Yasser Arafat
Egyptian tributes to Arafat
Marwan Barghouti could succeed Arafat
Palestinian leadership should get real
Hamas on the 1967 borders
Arafat and the Viet Cong
The Hizbullah programme
The Gaza disengagement