Arafat Fearing Israel Abandons Fatah Terrorists

Arafat and Yassin: roadblocks to peace, paths to terrorism

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem----April 23.....Palestinian Authority Chairman and master terrorist Yasser Arafat abandoned his own Fatah terrorists from his Muqata compound in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Thursday night. Arafat, who now appears to be Israel's next target after Yassin and Rantisi, took the move of expelling 20 terrorists from his home out of fear that Israel planned to break in, snatch them and assassinate him in the crossfire.

Many Israelis and Palestinians see Arafat as more dangerous than Yassin and Rantisi. Israel had offered Arafat a comprehensive peace package at Camp David which included receiving 97 percent of the West Bank and all of Gaza. Arafat responded by walking out of the talks and creating the Intifada which has killed hundreds of people from both sides and destroyed both Israeli and Palestinian economies.

Many wonder why Arafat has been sheltering terrorists in his home, as he had agreed to the American brokered Roadmap Peace Plan which had called for Arafat to confront terrorism, rather than harbor it.

Israel has stepped up attacks on Gaza terrorists in advance of the proposed unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, killing Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin last month and his successor Abdel Aziz Rantisi on Saturday.

In the wake of those killings, Arafat has become increasingly worried he would be next, Palestinian officials said. Arafat, who was born in Egypt, invented the country "Palestine" from land owned by Jordan and Egypt previous to the Israel Arab war of 1967. Arafat who had attempted to overthrow the Jordanian government in "Black September" in 1971, has been know for sacrificing his own people for his survival and financial comfort. As Arafat calls for Palestinian children to become suicide bombers, he has transferred millions of dollars of EU humanitarian aid money to his wife Suha's private bank account in Paris. Both the Bank of France and the French authorities are now investigating Arafat's corrupt practice of money laundering.

The Israel cabinet decided last year to "remove" Arafat, whom it has documented of fomenting terror during since the current intifada erupted in September 2000, though it has never acted on the decision.

Arafat has remained holed up in his Ramallah compound for nearly two years - since shortly after Israel's Operation Defensive Shield, concerned Israel would at best not let him return and at worst kill him if he left.

After Defensive Shield, about 40 terrorists from the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, a militia affiliated with Arafat's Fatah movement, sought refuge in the compound, hoping Arafat's presence would deter Israel from coming after them.

Last summer, amid persistent Israeli demands, Arafat threw the men out, but 26 of them returned to the compound in recent months.

They sought refuge in a filthy, half-demolished back room with a collapsed wall covered by a blanket. About a week ago, five of the most wanted terrorists were thrown out after Israel threatened to raid the compound and get them, "even if they are hiding in Arafat's drawer," a Palestinian security official said on condition of anonymity.

At approximately 3 A.M. on Thursday, Arafat, apparently spurred by the movement of IDF troops in Ramallah on Wednesday night, personally visited the 20 remaining terrorists and demanded they leave immediately, according to one of them, Ali Barghouti.

"We became fugitives to defend (Arafat) and now that we have become a burden, he is throwing us away," Barghouti said angrily.

The only remaining fugitive was a militant paralyzed in fighting with Israel, Arafat said.

Security sources said they were not targeting Arafat, had not given him a specific warning about the fugitives and had no plans to raid his compound. The nearby military activity was routine, the sources said.

Four Palestinian terrorists wanted by Israel have left Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Ramallah compound at his request, a brother of one of the Palestinians said Thursday.

The men departed the compound just before midnight Wednesday, the brother said, after they were told it was in "the national interest" for them to leave.

According to a Palestinian security source, Israeli authorities learned that the Palestinians were using Arafat's office as a hideout. On Monday, Israeli authorities told Palestinian security officials that the men must leave the compound, the security source said.

Wednesday's late-night departure was not the first time that Israel has forced Palestinians from Arafat's West Bank headquarters.

On March 29, 2002, Israeli forces stormed the compound, beginning a four-and-a-half-week siege that ended when six terrorists hiding out there were arrested and taken to a Jericho jail. Five of the six were wanted by Israel in the 2001 killing of Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze'evi.

Thursday's departure of the wanted men from the compound came as Israel continued military operations in the Palestinian territories aimed at rooting out suspected terrorists and terrorist leaders.

Early Thursday, Israeli troops killed three wanted Palestinian terrorists near the Nur-a-Shams refugee camp in the West Bank, according to Israeli military sources.

Based on intelligence information, Israeli forces confronted the members of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, killing them when they approached Israeli soldiers with their weapons drawn, the sources said.

Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades is a military offshoot of Arafat's Fatah movement that has carried out numerous attacks against military targets and civilians in Israel and in Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza. In March 2002, the U.S. State Department designated it as a foreign terrorist organization.

On Saturday in Gaza, Israel continued its policy of targeted killings of leaders of terrorist organizations. Abdel Aziz Rantisi, the leader of Hamas - another group labled by the U.S. State Department and Israel as a terrorist organization - became the second Hamas leader in a month to be killed in an Israeli airstrike.

Hamas is a Palestinian Islamic fundamentalist organization with a terror wing, Izzedine al Qassam, that has admitted responsibility for terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians as well as attacks against the Israeli military.

For protection, Hamas has chosen - but not identified - Rantisi's successor, according to sources in Izzedine al Qassam.

A week ago President Bush endorsed Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan for a total Israeli pullout from Gaza and parts of the West Bank. Bush denied the United States was taking sides in the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Sharon's "disengagement" plan would allow six blocs of Jewish settlements to remain in the West Bank.

Palestinians say the plan bypasses proposed Israeli-Palestinian negotiations about the future of the West Bank settlements as called for in the so-called "road map" to Mideast peace, backed by the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations. The road map calls for steps by both sides aimed at ending the conflict and establishing an independent Palestinian state by 2005.

The Israeli disengagement plan also includes the building of a anti-terrorism security fence - already under construction - that Israel says will block Palestinians terrorists from attacking Israel from the West Bank.

Eight Israelis and one Belgian who are victims of terrorism have filed a lawsuit in Brussels charging Yasser Arafat with "genocide, murder and crimes against humanity."

The suit was organized by the Terror Victims Association of Israel.

Oscar Gudlovitch, the Belgian involved in the suit who claims he was wounded when PLO terrorists attacked a Brussels synagogue in 1982, said that until now, he "was afraid to file any legal action against Arafat."

Meanwhile, at a press conference to announce the suit, Meir Indor, chief of the Terror Victims Association, said the action gives the international community "a chance to put Arafat where he rightfully belongs – in prison for mass murder, and not in the parlors of Europe receiving prizes for peace."

Yaacov Rubin, a lawyer for the group, said he believes the world media is generally anti-Israel.

"The world press will now have to face the terrible genocide that Arafat has waged for 30 years against the Jewish people," he said in Brussels.

Paris criminal lawyer Robert Goldnadel will also represent the group. Both attorneys will work on a voluntary basis and are not charging fees for their service. Yehudit Shahor – who became a lawyer after her son was murdered by terrorists in Wadi Kelt – is also assisting the other attorneys, the Jerusalem Post newspaper said last week.

In Brussels representing the 30 Israeli signatories to the suit were Hanna Maoz, whose daughter was one of 15 killed in the Sbarro Pizzeria bombing in Jerusalem Aug. 9; Yisrael Liebman, whose brother was murdered in the settlement of Yitzhar; Frida Sweri, whose daughter, son and son-in-law were killed in a drive-by shooting near Beit Horon; Irena Rudin, whose daughter was killed in the Dolphinarium suicide-bombing in Tel Aviv; and Aryeh Bosnah, who was wounded in a 1974 PLO attack on a school in Maalot.

Officials with TVA say they have evidence that directly links Arafat to a number of terrorist attacks committed by groups such as Fatah, Force 17, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad.

The suit charges Arafat "with murders which he ordered and which were carried out by members of organizations which Arafat controls," according to a statement issued on the group's website.

The suit also charges Arafat's assistants – Mohammed Dahlan, Marwan Barghoutti and Jibril Rajoub – with murder and genocide.

Arafat's crimes transcend the murder of Jews.

Yassir Arafat has compiled a record of atrocities which would be the envy of past war criminals. If one compiles a list in date order from the PLO's inception in 1964, specifying all those attacks which were ordered by Arafat. From the blowing-up of planes, through thousands of terrorist attacks, ordering the execution of American Ambassador to Sudan, Cleo No'l, charges des affaires George Moore and the Belgium aid, Guy Eid in Khartoum.

During the 12 year Civil War in Lebanon, caused by Yassir Arafat's assuming power through terror, his terrorists committed mass murder. Whole villages of Christians like Damour were massacred, chopped into pieces with machetes. Out of the 30,000 Christians, 10,000 were slaughtered by Arafat's PLO. The town was then occupied and kept as Arafat's stronghold. David Shipler of the New York Times wrote the story of Damour June 21, 1982. There were individual murders. One horrific, but typical, example is when the Muktar (leader) of a village refused to be cooperative with Arafat and his terrorists. The Muktar's teenage daughter was abducted and raped. Her breasts were cut off and she was delivered to the doorstep of her father in a sack.

In any hospital controlled by Arafat's terrorists, captured Christians became live blood banks for wounded Palestinians. Israeli soldiers who captured these hospitals found bodies drained of all their blood and stacked, like cordwood, in the hallways.

As of late September 2003, according to the head of Israeli military intelligence, Maj.-Gen. Zeevi-Farkash, Arafat orders for terrorist attacks were actually coming directly from Arafat's headquarters.

More recently, Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction of the PLO shot and killed George Khoury (20) as he was jogging in Jerusalem's French Hill neighborhood. Khoury was the son of an Israel Arab lawyer who has for years championed the "Palestinian" effort to build a state in the Land of Israel, and who has represented terror suspects in Israeli courts.

Arafat, in a clear racist gesture, stated that this was a case of mistaken identity - because their victim turned out to be an Arab instead of a Jew.

Nearly 30 years ago, Arab terrorists murdered Khoury's grandfather in downtown Jerusalem.

After the terror attack, Arafat personally called Khoury's father, Elias, to apologize for the "accidental" killing, confirming to many the conviction that the terror chief is personally responsible for acts of terrorism that have claimed hundreds of lives on both sides.