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Suicide Bombings - Did the EU get what it paid for ?


Continental Europeans competing with George Bush and Tony Blair's WMD muck-up in Iraq have a fiasco of their own to make them proud. Evidence is mounting that EU funds were used to pay for suicide bombings in Israel, instigated by Yasser Arafat and the PLO.

In April of 2002, during operation Defensive Wall, the IDF captured documentation proving that the EU funded PNA financed and directed terror operations.

One excerpt from the documents read:

"Costs of electricity products and various chemical materials (for manufacture of explosive charges and bombs). This is the greatest expenditure (the cost of one ready explosive charge is 700 shekels at least). We require on a weekly basis 59 explosives charges for squads in various areas (addition in handwriting of 5,000 shekels per week x 4 = 20,000 shekels per month)."

At the time, Hassan Abdel Rahman, the Palestinian representative to the United States, dismissed the documents as a forgery.

"This is a fraud by Israeli intelligence," Rahman told CNN. "There is an Israeli department that specializes in putting out lies."

So-called "Peace" groups and Palestinian advocates spread PNA claims that the evidence was fraudulent, though the documents, often handwritten, appeared to be genuine (see document samples below). Incredibly, the EU believed the Palestinians because it was convenient to do so, and hemmed and hawed for two years before checking the facts. Instead, the EU protested that Israel had destroyed its investments in Palestinian "infrastructure."

Finally, the EU sent a commission to investigate. Investigators from the European Union anti-fraud office (OLAF) came to Israel at the end of January to check charges that the PNA diverted money from European donors into terror activity. They concluded that documents the IDF seized during Operation Defensive Wall are authentic. The documents indicate that Arafat ordered that funds from European sources be used to support bombing of civilians - some of the money went to Arafat's Fatah Al
Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, apparently used to fund suicide bombings like the recent bus bombing in Jersualem. The documents included orders for disbursal of funds for suicide bombers, signed by the PNA Finance Minister, and orders for payment of "activists" signed by Yasser Arafat.

Suicide Bombings: European tax dollars at work? - The Palestinian 'resistance'

What is truly astounding, is that the EU saw the bombings and the IDF documents. They had to have been quite aware of the lack of financial transparency in the PNA, and the curious lack of development activity corresponding with their investment. Previously, EU officials had found that Arafat spend funds intended for low income housing on villas for PNA cronies. Rumors of financial "irregularities" abounded. Nonetheless, over three years of violence, it supposedly never occurred to anyone in the EU that their might be a connection between the money coming from Brussels and the bombs exploding in Jerusalem and Nethanya. Very hard to believe!

Not all the money went into such violent activity apparently. In November, the USA news program 60 Minutes revealed that Arafat had diverted about $800 million for his own political survival. 60 minutes will reveal next Sunday that the PNA has been paying Yasser's wife Suha Arafat $100,000 a month to live in luxury in Paris. PA Finance Minister Salam Fayad aided in the CBS investigation. Fayad is currently trying to track down all the PA-allocated money that never reached its intended destination.

An International Monetary Fund report on Palestinian Authority accounts between 1997 and 2003 found that some $900 million in PA funds, some of them contributed by donor nations, had been diverted by PA officials to accounts overseas. Of these funds, around $10 million, had reportedly been transferred to accounts owned by Suha Arafat in Paris. She apparently used hundreds of thousands of dollars for personal matters. The rest of the money remained in the accounts.

The IMF also found that some $74 million had been allocated for Yasser Arafat's office and there was no explanation of how the money was used.

The EU may not be the only ones who aren't getting their money's worth out of its investment in Palestinian "infrastructure." A PNA legislative committee is investigating reports that PNA Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei's family is selling cement to the Israeli government to build settlements and portions of the Israeli "Security Barrier." Perhaps that is Qurei's way of supporting security for Israelis and fulfilling the roadmap.

But wait, according to PNA Security Advisor Jibril Rajoub, all the suicide bombings were just a mistake, a tragic mistake, but nonetheless, just a mistake. Not a war crime or a moral outrage. It was all a mistake. 900 Israelis killed, over 2000 Palestinian dead, tens of thousands of wounded. Nobody's perfect I guess.

It will be up to the EU to clean house and ensure that its funds are not used to blow people up. For those of us who really support peace, there are important, difficult and embarrassing lessons to be learned as the tangled affairs of the PNA unfold. No decent person wants to be associated with the horror of suicide bombing. But Yasser and Suha (pictured at right with a prominent European) were entertained by the best folks. Evidently, one must be very careful when dealing with cynical and corrupt leaders such as these. We should not overlook the misdeeds of the Israeli government, or give up the hope for peace, but we cannot look the other way and pretend that crooks and murderers are "peace partners."

Ami Isseroff
Samples of captured documents that the EU ignored for nearly two years, while they continued to fund the PNA without oversight.

Translation of the document below, found in PA offices:

Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades


Financial Report

The debts which we have accumulated until now are estimated to be NIS 38,000. The following are the details:

1. The cost of posters of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades: Azam Mazhar, Usama Jubara, Shadi Afuri, Yasser Badawi, Ahed Fares (addition in handwriting of 2,000 shekels).

2. Costs of printed announcements, invitations and mourners shelters for martyrs (addition in handwriting of 1,250 shekels).

3. Cost of sticking photos of martyrs on wooden boards and also of the martyrs Thabet Thabet and Mahmud Al Jamil (addition in handwriting of 1,000 shekels).

4. Cost of memorial ceremonies for the martyrs. Memorial ceremonies were held for the martyr Azam and the martyr Usama (addition in handwriting of 6,000 shekels).

5. Costs of electricity products and various chemical materials (for manufacture of explosive charges and bombs). This is the greatest expenditure (the cost of one ready explosive charge is 700 shekels at least). We require on a weekly basis 5 9 explosives charges for squads in various areas (addition in handwriting of 5,000 shekels per week x 4 = 20,000 shekels per month).

6. The cost of bullets. The cost of a Kalashnikov bullet is 7 8 shekels, and an M-16 bullet costs 2 2.5 shekels. We need bullets on a daily basis.

7. Note: there are 3,000 Kalashnikov bullets at a cost of 2 shekels per bullet. We require that you transfer to us immediately a sum of money for us to purchase them (addition in handwriting of 22,500 shekels for kalashnikov bullets and 60,000 shekels for M-16 bullets).

In conclusion, all the glory and pride to those supporting the brave resistance against the oppressive occupation.

From the revolution until victory.

Palestinian Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades

16 September 2001

Addition in handwriting: 25,000 Dinar = 150,750:6

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Replies: 4 comments

Thanks a lot for posting this report about arafat. Most people are not aware of this side of Arafat. People should - must - be reminded over and over again about the real side of Yasser Arafat.
Check out my website.

Posted by Peter42y @ 02/11/2004 09:02 PM CST

And this is my board.

Posted by Peter42y @ 02/11/2004 09:05 PM CST

Thanks for posting this, Ami

It comes somewhat as a surprise, given the general direction of the site: is the subject news to you? I know that number of people like myself been arguing (full declaration: I am an EU taxpayer) with a lot of people involved in Israeli-Palestinian affairs in some way or other against the EU support for PA (as opposed to direct *and fully accountable* financing of humanitarian and similar projects) for years, not only because there has never been much reason to think highly of the PA, but also because I doubt the EU would support any sensible (i.e. likely to de-escalate the conflict on the long run) political project in your part of the world. So does all of this surprise you?

Posted by Miranda @ 02/15/2004 11:49 PM CST

This should be required for all those who believe the "Geneva Accord" is a valid approach to peace. Better yet they should be required to view what Arafat is directing towards destruction of the state of Isael.

Posted by Ivan @ 02/17/2004 07:43 PM CST

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