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Imprisoned opposition leader Marwan Barghouti: Arafat backed attacks on Israelis

Marwan Barghouti says late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat backed armed operations against Israelis, according to Israeli interrogation documents obtained by Haaretz

Ahram Online, Saturday 21 Apr 2012
Marwan Barghouti
Jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti ( Photo: Reuters)
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The Palestinian arena is tense following leaks uncovered by Israeli daily Haaretz claiming that Marwan Barghouti, the longtime Palestinian prisoner and former Fatah leader, coordinated attacks in the West Bank before his arrest.

Barghouti confessed during interrogation to giving instructions and money to armed Fatah groups that killed Israeli citizens, according to Israeli documents obtained by Haaretz.

The documents published by the political analyst Amos Harel and Haaretz Palestinian affairs editor Avi Issacharoff claim that late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat backed martyrdom operations in the heart of Israel, but was careful to not give direct orders for such operations.

The documents say that Arafat made positive gestures when Palestinian leaders discussed with him the significance of martyrdom operations.

Records of the investigation, which were revealed during judicial proceedings that are now taking place related to civil damages suits filed against Barghouti and the Palestinian Authority, offer a insight into how the Intifada developed, Haaretz reported.

After some hesitation, Barghouti provided Shin Bet information that incriminated him and other senior members of Fatah's military wing. He confessed to transferring funds, some that arrived from Arafat's office, to leaders of terror groups. In some incidents, he funded the purchase of weapons, and in others he received reports on terror attacks.

Barghouti confirms that he was in contact with various regional squads of the military arm of Fatah in the West Bank. He admits that operatives in the squads asked him for financial assistance and he gave them money.

More seriously, Barghouti admitted in the investigations that President Arafat was funding the direct martyrdom operations from his office and that he took care of the families of martyrs, and urged Palestinian children to kill Israelis, referring to the intelligence of President Arafat, who were not directly ordered to make such operations but established the circumstances for them to be carried out.

Barghouti said that despite the fact that President Arafat vowed and committed to many of world leaders, notably ousted president Hosni Mubarak, that he would not support martyrdoms operation, he was covertly supporting them contrary to his pledge, pointing out that Arafat was a political veteran who played with all the cards available to him in order to achieve political gains for the Palestinian cause.

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