Israel Resource Review 9th July, 2001


Israeli Defense Minister Ben Eliezer On the Record: CIA Trained Snipers with Israeli Knowledge of Such

Israeli Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer acknowledged on July 1, 2001 that the United States Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A.) trained P.L.O. death squads in the United States with the approval of the Barak Government and Mr. Shimon Peres, currently Foreign Minister in the Sharon Government and formerly Minister of Regional Cooperation in the Barak Government.

Defense Minister Ben-Eliezer made his remarks during a press conference at the Inbal Hotel (formerly the Laromme Hotel) in Jerusalem, organized by the Foreign Press Association in Israel (F.P.A.).

Mr. Ben-Eliezer was responding to a question posed by F.P.A. member Mr. Aryeh Gallin of the Root & Branch Information Services.

Gallin Question (verbatim):

"While Netanyahu was prime minister, C.I.A. Chief John Deutsch appointed George Tenet to serve as C.I.A. liaison between Israel and the P.L.O.

While Barak was prime minister, then Regional Cooperation Minister Shimon Peres agreed to Tenet's request that the P.L.O. send 40 quote unquote "policemen" for advanced C.I.A. sniper, marksmanship and advanced weapons training in Virginia.

Mr. Defense Minister, are not those C.I.A. trained P.L.O. squads the very ones today inflicting such terrible casualties on so-called Arab collaborators, the I.D.F., and Jews in Gilo and especially in Judea, Samaria and Gaza?

And, Mr. Defense Minister, why was the C.I.A. request to train these P.L.O. squads routed through and approved by a Regional Cooperation Minister, Mr. Shimon Peres?"

Ben-Eliezer Answer:

'It's an easy question. We thought that they would behave themselves'.

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Arafat's Condolences to Tel-Aviv Disco Bomber's Family . . .
MEMRI dispatch No. #237
July 8, 2001

Arafat's Condolences to Tel-Aviv Disco Bomber's Family: "The Heroic Martyrdom Operation" . . . "A Model of Manhood and Sacrifice for Allah and the Homeland . . . "

On June 24, 2001, the German TV network, Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) aired in its weekly program, "Weltspiegl" a news special titled "The Father of the Terrorist." The program briefly focused on the life of the Tel-Aviv disco suicide bomber and his family and friends reaction to his martyrdom in which 21 mostly teenagers were killed and over 100 injured. In one segment of the report the sister of the bomber is seen flipping through a scrapbook which includes pictures, news clippings, and letters regarding her dead brother's suicide attack. Among the letters included is one from Yasser Arafat sent by the Palestinian Embassy in Jordan, praising his heroism(1). The German TV narrator said about Arafat's letter the following:

"The album, a telltale collection of condolence letters. This one here from the Hamas. But much more surprising for us, there is also a letter from Arafat. It was a heroic deed, he lets his embassy in Jordan write to the family. To turn one's body into a bomb is the best example of willingness to make a sacrifice. Signed Yasser Arafat. [Is] the assassin, the great role model for the President of Palestine, as well?"

Segments from the text of the letter as visible from the German TV report*:

In English:

Embassy of the State of Palestine The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Amman

The emblem of the embassy with the Al-Aqsa Mosque and a map of Palestine [including what is now Israel]

In Arabic:

To the brothers, the family of Al-Hotary and the Noble People of Qalqilya,

With hearts that believe in Allah's will and predetermination, we have received the news about the martyrdom of the martyr . . . Al-Hotary, the son of Palestine, whose noble soul ascended to . . . in order to rest in Allah's Kingdom, together with the Prophets, the men of virtue, and the martyrs. The heroic martyrdom operation . . . who turned his body into bombs . . . the model of manhood and sacrifice for the sake of Allah and the homeland . . .

[Unclear lines] that the martyr be . . . in Allah's mercy and will . . . Allah's grace and satisfaction . . . will inspire all members of his family . . . The best of condolences. To Allah we belong and to him we return back [Koran]

Yasser Arafat, the President of the State of Palestine Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO Chairman of the Palestinian National Authority [Stamp Emblem]

*The German television cassette, the script (and its English translation) and copies of captions from the video containing images of the letter, are available upon request.

The Palestinian media recently reported other such instances as well. For example:

On June 8, 2001, a funeral was held in the town of Tulkarm for an activist of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Ashraf Al-Bardawil, who died while preparing an explosive devise for another terrorist act. In his eulogy, the PA Governor of Tulkarm, 'Izz Al-Din Al-Sharif, delivered the condolences of Yasser Arafat to the family.

The Islamic Jihad Weekly, Al-Istiqlal, praised many terrorist attacks Al-Bardawil participated in, including placing a car bomb in Netanya [Israel].

Source: Al-Quds, June 9, 2001.

In late April, Hassan Muhhamad Al-Qadhi, the murderer of the 16-year-old Israeli who was tempted through the internet to come to the PA territory - was himself killed while preparing explosives for another terrorist operation.

On May 5, 2001, his family put an ad in the PA paper Al-Ayyam thanking Yasser Arafat, "The father of all martyrs" for extending condolences to the family of the martyr and the whole clan of Al-Qadhi "for the martyr of the revolution and the homeland."

Source: Al-Ayyam, PA, May 5, 2001.


(1) The PA daily Al-Ayyam, reported on June 24, 01 that on June 23, 2001 Yasser Arafat's bureau in Ramallah, denied the claims of the German TV station according to which they have a letter by Arafat praising the Martyrdom operation that caused the death of 21 Israeli youth. Arafat's bureau said that the letter is a forgery.

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) is an independent, non-profit organization that translates and analyzes the media of the Middle East. Copies of articles and documents cited, as well as background information, are available on request.

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI)
P.O. Box 27837, Washington, DC 20038-7837
Phone: (202) 955-9070
Fax: (202) 955-9077

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Families of Slain Americans Upset by State Dept. Treatment
Julie Stahl
Jerusalem Bureau Chief

Jerusalem ( - The families of two Americans recently murdered by Palestinians say their grief has been compounded by the treatment they received from U.S. diplomatic missions in Israel, according to sources in Jerusalem.

Two American citizens with dual Israeli nationality have been murdered in the past seven weeks, bringing to 18 the total number of Americans killed in Palestinian terrorist attacks since 1993, when the Israeli-Palestinian Oslo peace accords were signed at the White House.

Sarah Blaustein, 53, was one of two people killed on May 29 when the van in which she was traveling came under fire from Palestinian gunmen. Blaustein's husband, son and two other people were injured in the attack.

Blaustein had just fulfilled her lifelong dream of living in the Biblical Promised Land last August when she and her husband moved to Efrat, a Jewish community of some 9,000 residents, in disputed territory 10 miles outside of Jerusalem. The road connecting the settlement to Jerusalem has repeatedly come under Palestinian gunfire attack.

Blaustein's sister-in-law, Cheryl Unterberg, told a small gathering in Jerusalem earlier this week that the family was upset by the U.S. missions' reaction to the family during their time of tragedy.

Unterberg said the family had asked Ambassador Martin Indyk to attend the funeral "to pay his respects," but had been told that where they lived was within the jurisdiction of the U.S. Consulate-General in eastern Jerusalem.

Because Washington does not recognize Israel's sovereignty over East Jerusalem or the West Bank, those areas fall outside the sphere of its embassy in Tel Aviv.

At the time the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv issued a statement condemning the murder and expressing regret for the ambassador's inability to attend the funeral.

"Ambassador Indyk . . . expressed deep regret at his inability to attend [the] funeral for Sarah Blaustein," a statement from the Embassy said. "The West Bank is the official responsibility of the Consulate-General in Jerusalem and Ambassador Indyk is not authorized to attend events there, including the funeral in Efrat."

Nevertheless, the Consulate-General, whose area of jurisdiction includes the Palestinian Authority areas, also declined to attend the funeral or to pay a condolence call on the family.

"We're not trying to make a [political] statement," said Unterberg, who herself moved from the U.S. six years ago. "We're only asking for a little show of humanity. But the Consulate-General could not show even that."

According to Unterberg the Consul-General, Ronald Schlicher, made various excuses why he could not come, including the fact it was "too political," he does not pay condolence calls, and he can't visit Jewish settlements.

She noted that two weeks later, however, an official from the Consulate did visit a neighbor of hers in Efrat. But even then the staffer could not be persuaded to stop at their home and offer her condolences.

"This is how we're treated by the American government," she said.

Another American, 14-year-old Ya'acov Mandell was bludgeoned to death with rocks along with a friend on May 9. Indyk also condemned that murder but declined to pay his respects to the family, said David Bedein, a family friend and journalist.

A spokesman at the Consulate said on Monday that Schlicher had not attended the funerals or visited the families "for security reasons." At the time of the murders, "U.S. officials were not allowed to go to the West Bank," he said.

No rewards

The State Department has been accused of turning a blind eye to the killing of Americans when the murderers are of Palestinian origin.

Recently 26 Congressmen presented a letter to Secretary of State Colin Powell, urging the Bush administration to offer rewards for the Palestinian killers of U.S. citizens as it does for other murderers of Americans.

In the bipartisan letter, the Congressmen said they were "concerned that the U.S. government has not yet offered rewards for information leading to the capture of Palestinian terrorists who have killed or injured American citizens.

"This is of particular concern," they said, "because we understand that such rewards are offered in many other cases in which terrorists have harmed Americans overseas."

The lawmakers noted that the State Department web site, "singles out many individual cases, offers varying amounts of money for the different cases, and publicizes the awards in the local media of the country where the crime took place."

The congressmen acknowledged that there were sensitive political and national security interests at stake. Nevertheless, they urged the administration to offer rewards based on the U.S. commitment "to ensuring justice and fighting terrorism."

This ran on the CNS wire on July 2, 2001

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Fatah Website Editorial: Coordination Between "National and Islamic Forces"

Official Fatah Website Editorial: Sharon's Instinctive Aggression [Palestinians should not shoot in populated areas, collaborators should be apprehended, no "political arrests"]

[IMRA: The most telling segment in this Fatah editorial states that "National and Islamic forces also coordinate with the security forces to provide an atmosphere of safety for the citizens. Security forces also ensure that the law applies to those who violate it, especially those who shoot in demonstrations, marches, or populated areas. Another important task the security apparatus performs is the apprehension of collaborators who help the enemy in assassinating the Intifada activists. Security forces are not supposed to carry out political arrests." This is a far cry from the "cease-fire" envisioned in Tenet's plan.]

Sharon's Instinctive Aggression

It can be said that the successive American administrations have made a number of foolish acts out of arrogance in their attempts to impose their hegemony during the cold war era or during their involvement in the frozen Middle East peace process. However, the craziest act lies in the unprecedented awkwardness that the US Administration experienced following Powel's visit to the area. In a press conference he had with President Arafat, Powel expressed his support for the idea of having international observers to ensure that a period of quiet can take hold. Few hours later, he declared that the only person who can decide on whether such a period has been reached is Sharon - an act that legitimized Sharon's aggression.

Many analysts believed that after seven months of reluctance and after the expiration of the one hundred day period that Sharon was granted to finish the Intifada and impose his version of security, the US new involvement in the Arab Israeli conflict will be more balanced to ensure security for all people in the area. A similar policy was adopted by the Clinton administration but proved unsuccessful because it failed to consider the real situation.

Sharon's last meeting with Bush revealed some differences in their perception of the situation. Powel was sent to the area to explore that situation and report on the commitment of Israel and the PNA to the implementation of both Tenet's paper and Mitchell's report.

Unfortunately, Powel's statements emphasized one important thing: the US is fully biased to Israel. In fact, one can conclude that the US activated its role only to blackmail the Palestinian leadership into making further concessions. The US seems to be rewarding a war criminal who is aggressive by instinct.

It has become clear that the direct and indirect pressure the US placed on the Palestinian leadership to accept the Tenet's paper aimed to frighten the Palestinian people into accepting Sharon's dictates. Such an attempt, however, failed to produce the desired results when the Palestinian leadership refused to sign the paper. The US attempt was aborted due to the steadfastness that the Palestinian civil society and the National and Islamic forces have shown.

Despite the reservations the Palestinian leadership made regarding Tenet's paper, the US took another step in supporting Sharon's aggression. Mitchell' s report was torn into pieces when the US agreed to his demand that the political issue can only be tackled after a cease-fire takes hold. Sharon's definition of a cease-fire includes throwing stones, peaceful marches, playing the national anthem or even saying Jerusalem belongs to us.

The US partiality towards Sharon reinforces his aggressive nature and allows his soldiers and flocks of settlers to go on with their assault against Palestinians and their property. This irresponsible attitude on behalf of the US requires Arabs and Muslims to stand against whatever pressures that may be exerted to blackmail us. Also, we need to strengthen our home front against any possible attacks, not forgetting the supportive role institutions in both the Arab and Islamic world can play in this regard. After all, the Israeli aggression is not confined to historic Palestine but goes as far as Lebanon and Syria.

Accepting this situation turns Sharon's aggression into an instrument in the hands of the Republican administration that needs to create a state of permanent tension in order to impose its hegemony on the area. To undermine this strategy, we should exercise cautioun and prepare ourselves for the worst options without panic. Panic only leads to surrender. Caution, on the other hand, prepares the way for using all sources in fighting the Israeli occupation and the US bias. We have to make it clear to the US administration that Sharon's aggression threatens its vital interests in the Arab and Muslim world.

As Palestinians and as members of Fateh, we realize the importance of a unified position that we share with Arabs and Muslims all over the world. Importance, however, should be given to cementing our home front that should include: the organizations of the civil society, the military, security and civil institutions of the PNA, and the National and Muslim forces. When we act as spearhead of the confrontation against Sharon, we will secure Arab and Muslim support.

After nine months of perseverance and resolution, the Intifada has proven that national unity remains an effective shield against the American pressure, the reckless settlers, and the Israeli army. To maintain such a situation, it is necessary to scrutinize our Intifada before the end of its first year. This scrutinization is be based on the political and strategic considerations that specify the goals of the Intifada, and it aims to enhance the methods it has been using to achieve its goals.

National and Muslim forces should focus their attention on strengthening our national unity. To ensure this, the burden of the Intifada ought to be distributed in a way that ensures the participation of all sectors, each according to its capacity. Each sector of the community should feel that it is an integral part of the Intifada that seeks freedom and national independence by achieving the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people: the right of the refugees to return to the homes they were driven out from, self-determination, and the establishment of the Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

These principles constitute a struggle program that should be adhered to. Such a program unifies all forces inside and outside Palestine in their efforts to bring about a change in the US position by placing pressure on Arab governments.

Based on its understanding of the importance of the role of the organizations of the civil society, the National and Islamic forces insist on the participation of representatives from these organizations in the decision making process. This helps in unifying decisions taken at the level of all governorates in Palestine regarding the functions and activities to be carried out.

The involvement of the civil society in the Intifada activities shows the world the peaceful nature of the protests being carried out against the occupation. Areas of cooperation between the PNA institutions and those of the civil society such as municipalities, village councils, public federations, and trade unions have been specified.

It has also become clear that organizing the daily needs of the people is a basic element in the continuation of the Intifada and its development until it achieves its goals. Emphasis has been placed on supporting PNA institutions that offer public services that influence the daily life of the Palestinian individual. Therefore, full coordination is made with the ministries that deal with health, education, social affairs, and labor.

National and Islamic forces also coordinate with the security forces to provide an atmosphere of safety for the citizens. Security forces also ensure that the law applies to those who violate it, especially those who shoot in demonstrations, marches, or populated areas. Another important task the security apparatus performs is the apprehension of collaborators who help the enemy in assassinating the Intifada activists. Security forces are not supposed to carry out political arrests.

A campaign of social solidarity should be launched to extend help to families that are directly or indirectly harmed by the Israeli practices -families of the martyrs and the injured or families that have their houses demolished or one or more of its members captured by the Israeli army. In this regard, solidarity groups in the Arab and Muslim world should be activated to offer the necessary assistance to these families.

A united Palestinian position elicits a united Arab and Islamic stance that supports the Palestinian struggle against Sharon who has an instinct for aggression. This aggression threatens not only the historic Palestine but also the whole Arab world. It is our duty to prove to the world that our conflict with Israel is between the instinct of faith and righteousness and that of aggression and injustice.

Revolution until victory.

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