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Arafat planned and led the Intifada: Testimonies from PA leaders and others
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Arafat planned and led the Intifada:
Testimonies from PA leaders and others

Suha Arafat:
"He had already decided to carry out an Intifada
after the Oslo Accords and the failure of Camp David"

Nabil Shaath:
"[Arafat] saw that repeating the first Intifada in new forms would bring the necessary popular, international,
and Arab pressure upon Israel"

by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

Whereas the international community still debates who bears responsibility for the violence during the Palestinian terror campaign, the second Intifada, 2000-2005, Palestinian Media Watch has reported many times that the Palestinian Authority and its leaders have said that the PA led by Arafat was behind it, and have taken responsibility for the violence during the Intifada. The official PA media has also reiterated this statement several times.

The latest Palestinian to acknowledge that the violence was initiated intentionally by Yasser Arafat and the PA is Arafat's wife, Suha Arafat. In addition, senior PA leader Nabil Shaath in a recent interview explained what Arafat hoped to accomplish through the violence.

In an interview on PA TV, Suha Arafat explained that Arafat ordered her to leave the PA areas "because he had already decided to carry out an Intifada."

Click to view

In a program about Arafat on PA TV, Nabil Shaath, member of Fatah Central Committee explained that "[Arafat] saw that repeating the first Intifada in new forms, would bring the necessary popular, international, and Arab pressure upon Israel."

Click to view

After the terror campaign started in 2000, during the years of conflict and since it ended in 2005, different PA leaders have recognized and confirmed Arafat's responsibility for planning and directing the terror campaign.

Responding to comments by Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Zahar, who claimed that Hamas carried out attacks during the Intifada at Arafat's request, indicating coordination between Fatah and Hamas, Muhammad Dahlan, then senior PA and Fatah official, insisted that Arafat and his security services were the ones who initiated and were the prime movers of the Intifada:

"Arafat didn't lack fighters. In the Intifada, when Arafat wanted something, he asked his security services, 40% of which were either killed, Shahids (Martyrs) or prisoners. I want to... express all our love, honor and gratitude for the role of those brothers who died as Martyrs in the second Intifada from among Fatah and from among the Palestinian civilians and fighters, who defended our national rights. ... [When the violence started] Hamas was still hiding, thinking that Arafat brought about the Intifada because he wanted to cover up the secret agreement that had been drawn up at Camp David. Those are Al-Zahar's statements, by the way... The second Intifada - Hamas joined it late. We [the PLO and PA security services] are the ones who started it."
[PA TV (Fatah), Sept. 28, 2010]
 
Arafat's Advisor on Internal Affairs and member of the Palestinian Supreme National Security Council, Mamdouh Nawfal, also wrote that Arafat "brought about the outburst":

"As to the second Intifada, one could say with complete objectivity that Arafat exploited Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount and the people's hatred of the occupation to bring about the outburst... Arafat made no attempt to evade responsibility when he was blamed for its eruption..."
[Al-Hayat (London), Nov. 12, 2005]

The responsibility for the terror campaign has also been recognized by the Deputy Director of the PA's Political and National Education Authority Mazen Izz Al-Din:

"The Al-Aqsa Intifada - if we want to be truthful and open, history will reveal one day - that it [the Intifada] and all its directives belong to the President and Supreme Commander Yasser Arafat."
[PA TV (Fatah), May 28, 2002]
Click to view

Similarly, Ashraf Al-Ajrami, former PA Minister of Prisoners, has criticized Hamas for wrongly taking the credit for running the Intifada:

"Even this Intifada
, whose flag Hamas has tried to wave unjustly, forcibly, falsely and fraudulently - that [Intifada] flag belongs to Yasser Arafat alone... These [Palestinian Authority security] forces paid the heavy price in the second Intifada"
[PA TV (Fatah), June 29, 2009]

Click to view

Imad Faluji, PA Minister of Communications under Arafat at the time of the Intifada, has explained that Arafat had been planning the Intifada since he returned from the failed Camp David talks in 2000:

"Whoever thinks that the Intifada started because of the hated Sharon's visit to Al-Aqsa Mosque is mistaken. That was only the straw breaking the Palestinian people's patience. This Intifada was already planned since [Arafat] the President returned from the recent talks at Camp David [July 2000]."
[Private filming of speech by Faluji, Dec. 5, 2000]

Click to view

Official PA media has also expressed and repeated the view that Arafat started and controlled the Intifada:

"It is the legitimate leadership that will be on the frontlines, and that is who will push society into the conflict - as happened in the lengthy second Intifada, when the [PA] security services and Hamas fought together."
[Columnist Adli Sadeq in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 11, 2011]

"Arafat came back [from the Camp David talks] and ignited the Al-Aqsa Intifada"
[Op-ed by Bakr Abu-Bakr, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 11, 2010]

More than once, PA leaders have emphasized Arafat's duplicitous strategy of condemning the terror he himself orchestrated and financed. Sultan Abu Al-Einein, Fatah Secretary General in Lebanon explained:

"Yasser Arafat used to condemn Martyrdom operations (i.e., suicide attacks). He used to condemn these operations in very severe terms, but at the same time, it is clearly determined that the Martyr Yasser Arafat financed these military operations."
[Al-Quds, April 6, 2009]

Muhammad Dahlan, then member of the Fatah Central Committee, also has explained how Arafat deceived by condemning terror "by day" and planning it "at night":

"Arafat would condemn [terror] operations by day while at night he would do honorable things. I don't want to say any more about this."
[PA TV (Fatah), July 22, 2009]
Click to view

The following are the full statements and context of the above remarks from PA leaders and others as well as PA media acknowledging that Arafat started, directed and controlled the Intifada - the PA terror campaign from 2000-2005 (appearing chronologically):

Excerpt from PA TV four-part documentary Arafat
Part 4: "The Besieged President"
Narrator: "The Camp David Summit [in 2000] failed, and [US President Bill] Clinton held Arafat responsible for the failure. This was a prelude to very grave events: [Israeli Parliament Member] Ariel Sharon invaded the Noble Sanctuary of Jerusalem (i.e., the Temple Mount), and the second Intifada, known as the Al-Aqsa Intifada, broke out on Sept. 28, 2000 as a direct response to this invasion. However, it was also an outburst against Israel's insistence over the years on suppressing the Palestinians and (speech unclear) their National Authority."
Nabil Shaath, member of the negotiating team: "[Arafat] saw that repeating the first Intifada in new forms, would bring the necessary popular, international, and Arab pressure upon Israel, because it was already impossible to continue denying our right in Jerusalem and the right of the refugees, which are the two main topics [of conflict]."
[PA TV (Fatah), Nov. 13, 2011]

Suha Arafat's statement about Arafat planning the Intifada:
Suha Arafat: "On the personal level, I miss him very, very much. [Our daughter] Zahwa also misses him, you can't imagine. She didn't know him. She knows that Arafat sent us away before the [Israeli] invasion of Ramallah. He said: 'You have to leave Palestine, because I want to carry out an Intifada, and I'm not prepared to shield myself behind my wife and little girl.' Everyone said: 'Suha abandoned him,' but I didn't abandon him. He ordered me to leave him because he had already decided to carry out an Intifada after the Oslo Accords and after the failure of Camp David [July 2000]."
[PA TV (Fatah), Nov. 12, 2011]

Official PA daily: The PA leadership pushed society into conflict in the second Intifada
"On the Palestinian level, no one disagrees that the armed struggle is difficult, or impossible, under the current conditions. Our obligation right now is to prevent the violation of our commitment to a work plan which will maintain public order, protect society from disruptions, and allow the political players to compensate for the abstention from the most noble means of resistance (when it is strategically possible) -i.e., the armed struggle - by means of advantages and achievements in our political standing. ... The armed forces and groups, wherever they may be, must gather together under the flag of the national entity, with their weapons and with their vision, and must willingly forego their ability to coerce on the internal level. The use of resistance as an excuse is not convincing; Palestinian experience has shown us that when the moment of resistance arrives, whether the estimates are mistaken or accurate, it is the legitimate leadership that will be on the frontlines, and that is who will push society into the conflict - as happened in the lengthy second Intifada, when the [PA] security services and Hamas fought together."
[Columnist Adli Sadeq in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 11, 2011]

Official PA daily: During the Intifada the PA permitted use of weapons
"[During the Intifada] the [Palestinian] Authority gave free rein, maintained unity among all the forces (i.e., PA, Fatah, Hamas and others) in the struggle, permitted [use of] weapons, and showed defiance... In the penultimate chapter, without any rest, brothers who are our partners in the blood tax (i.e., Hamas) fell upon the Palestinian [Authority] entity which unites us, murdering and engaging in accusations of treason. They justified their actions with the claim that their brothers (i.e., Fatah) were collaborators. Were the opposite not the case, there would have been no Al-Aqsa Intifada! When the results forced us to return to the option of politics and national resolve upon the land, unity was withheld from us [by Hamas]... the strategic aims of the occupiers (i.e., Israel) having been, and still being, to destroy our ability to realize the two opposite options: politics and resistance!"
[Columnist Adli Sadeq in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 10, 2011]

"[Mahmoud Abbas] emphasized that he supports the options that the Arabs will choose, and added: 'I have said more than once that if the Arabs want war - we are with them. I cannot fight alone. We tried military action during the second Intifada and during the attack on Gaza at the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009, after the [Hamas] refusal to renew the ceasefire, and it brought destruction upon us. 25% of the homes in Gaza are still in ruins.' He noted that he opposes military action and that he believes that popular operations resisting settlement and the [security] fence lead to clear positive results for the Palestinian cause. He noted that 50% of the participants in these demonstrations are Israelis, while 25% are foreigners. He added: 'We are determined to continue this activity, and we do not wish to turn to armed struggle, because our capabilities and the international atmosphere do not allow for it.'"
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 24, 2011]

Official PA daily: Arafat started the Intifada
Op-ed by Bakr Abu-Bakr:
"He [Arafat] refused to give in, just as he rejected the billions that [US President Bill] Clinton promised him. Arafat came back [from the Camp David talks] and ignited the Al-Aqsa Intifada (2000-2004) [the PA terror campaign, 2000-2005 -Ed.], and paid for it with his life."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 11, 2010]

Senior Fatah leader: Arafat and Fatah started the Intifada
Interview with Muhammad Dahlan, member of the Fatah Central Committee:
PA TV host: "Yesterday or the day before, Mahmoud Al-Zahar, the Hamas leader, said that they [Hamas] used to carry out operations (i.e., terror attacks) at the request of the late President, Yasser Arafat. In other words, there was high-level coordination [between Fatah and Hamas]. What is your response to that?"
Dahlan: "I'm not surprised at these reckless statements by Al-Zahar... These are not the words of a responsible person, or a person who appreciates what responsibility is. It's also humiliating because the President, Arafat, didn't lack fighters. In the Intifada, when Arafat wanted something, he asked his security services, 40% of which were either killed, Shahids (Martyrs) or prisoners. I want to take advantage of this opportunity to express all our love, honor and gratitude for the role of those brothers who died as Shahids in the second Intifada from among Fatah and from among the Palestinian civilians and fighters, who defended our national rights. And also those who have paid a heavy price in the Israeli prisons, first and foremost Marwan Barghouti, who served as the example and the symbol of this Intifada, while Hamas was still hiding, thinking that Arafat brought about the Intifada because he wanted to cover up the secret agreement that had been drawn up at Camp David. Those are Al-Zahar's statements, by the way... The second Intifada - Hamas joined it late. We [the PLO and PA security services] are the ones who started it."
[PA TV (Fatah), Sept. 28, 2010]

Mahmoud Abbas: "We tried the Intifada (five-year terror campaign) in 2000, and it destroyed everything that we had built. If the Arabs would want to fight, we'd be the first to fight. I told them at the [Arab] Summit in Sirt [Libya]: 'If you want war, take the lead.' It's not possible for us [Palestinians] to go ahead alone; they must be first, with us behind them. We shall not permit them to fight using us. One of them [Arab leaders] spoke about resistance. I said to him, 'The Palestinian people is not interested in resistance. We, as the [Palestinian] Authority, are not interested in resistance, Hamas has abandoned resistance, they are preventing [launch of] rockets and they speak of a tahadiyeh [ceasefire]. Therefore, if he [the Arab leader] is interested in resistance, let him carry it out himself. Nothing is easier than raising a banner [that says], 'Forward, men!' And half an hour later we'll get a slap in the face and find ourselves on the floor. It's not possible for a responsible person to behave this way."
[Al-Ayyam, Sept. 6, 2010]

Dahlan: Arafat deceived world when condemning terror
Muhammad Dahlan, senior Fatah MP: "Regarding negotiations with Israel, we have to set a logical time limit of two years, in my opinion. The political plan guarantees the continuation of our national struggle in all its forms, in a way that will fulfill our national aspirations within this period of time."
PA TV host: "If so, the [violent] resistance and struggle continue."
Muhammad Dahlan: "This is our right, a legal right. The international community affirms it for us. But it is the responsibility of the leadership to use it when it wants, in the proper place and at the proper time. We cannot leave it in the hands of youth who use their own judgment. This is the difference between [PA] using this right and just anyone using it. I lived with Chairman Yasser Arafat for years. Arafat would condemn [terror] operations by day while at night he would do honorable things. I don't want to say any more about this."
[PA TV (Fatah), July 22, 2009]

Former PA Minister of Prisoners: The Intifada "belongs to Yasser Arafat alone"
Ashraf Al-Ajrami, former PA Minister of Prisoners, speaking the same week that Israel approved the transfer of 1,000 additional AK-47 rifles to PA security forces:
"The master of resistance is, without doubt and without question, the Shahid (Martyr) Yasser Arafat. Even this Intifada, whose flag Hamas has tried to wave unjustly, forcibly, falsely and fraudulently - that [Intifada] flag belongs to Yasser Arafat alone... These [Palestinian Authority security] forces paid the heavy price in the second Intifada (i.e., the PA terror campaign 2000 -2005), both as Shahids (Martyrs) and as prisoners. The greatest number of prisoners is from the security forces sector. They are the ones who bore arms and carried out the greatest and most important operations [(i.e., terror attacks)] against the Israeli occupation - and especially against soldiers, and some of the most famous operations (i.e., terror attacks) in the West Bank - Ein-Arik, Wadi Al-Haramiyeh, Sorda, and others. These were carried out by the heroes of the Palestinian security forces, who protected the homeland and the national interest, while Hamas merely looked on for many months before embarking [on attacks]."
[PA TV (Fatah), June 29, 2009]

Fatah official: Arafat financed suicide terror while also condemning it
Sultan Abu Al-Einein, Fatah Secretary General in Lebanon:
"Yasser Arafat used to condemn Martyrdom [suicide] operations (i.e., suicide attacks). He used to condemn these operations in very severe terms, but at the same time, it is clearly determined that the Martyr Yasser Arafat financed these military operations."
[Al-Quds TV, April 6, 2009]

Dahlan: PA security forces aided Hamas during Intifada
Muhammad Dahlan, a senior PA (Fatah) official, states openly that PA security forces hid and protected Hamas military leaders and fighters during the Intifada:
"Forty percent of the Martyrs in this Intifada belonged to the Palestinian [Authority] security forces. The Palestinian security forces were those who protected and hid half of the Hamas leadership and of the Hamas military force during the Intifada.
[Al-Arabiya TV, June 16, 2007]

PA Minister: Oslo gave Palestinians the tools to "create the great Intifada"
Ziyad Abu Ein, PA Deputy Minister of Prisoners Affairs:
"The Oslo Accords are not the dream of the Palestinian people. However, there would never have been [violent] resistance in Palestine without Oslo. Oslo is the effective and potent greenhouse which embraced the Palestinian resistance. Without Oslo, there would never have been [violent] resistance. In all the occupied territories, we could not move a single pistol from place to place. Without Oslo, and being armed through Oslo, and without the Palestinian Authority's "A" areas, without the training, the camps, the protection afforded by Oslo, and without the freeing of thousands of Palestinian prisoners through Oslo - we and this Palestinian resistance would not have been able to create this great Palestinian Intifada."
[Al-Alam TV, July 4, 2006]

"As to the second Intifada, one could say with complete objectivity that Arafat exploited Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount, and the people's hatred of the occupation, to bring about the outburst... Arafat made no attempt to evade responsibility when he was blamed for its eruption..."
[From a book by Mamdouh Nawfal, Arafat's advisor on Internal Affairs, member of Palestinian Supreme National Security Council, Al-Hayat (London), Nov. 12, 2005]

Abbas admits sending terrorists to kill Israelis
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas:
"I demand [the release of] prisoners because they are human beings, who did what we, we, ordered them to do. We - the [Palestinian] Authority. They should not be punished while we sit at one table negotiating. This is war. One (i.e., Israel) ordered a soldier to kill, and I ordered my son, brother, or others, to carry out the duty of resistance (i.e., euphemism for terror). This person killed and the other person killed. So why say this person's hands are stained with blood, and [he] must be kept in prison?"
[PA TV (Fatah), Feb. 14, 2005]

Arafat planned every step of Intifada terror
Deputy Director of the PA's Political and National Education Authority, Mazen Izz Al-Din:
"The Al-Aqsa Intifada (PA Terror Campaign, 2000-2005) - if we want to be truthful and open, history will reveal one day - that it (the Intifada) and all its directives belong to the President and Supreme Commander Yasser Arafat."
[PA TV (Fatah), May 28, 2002]

Arafat, days before the Intifada: It will be easy to get Palestinians to wage battle for Al-Aqsa
Israeli Parliament Member Ariel Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount in September 2000 was used by the PA to spark the five-year terror campaign (the "Intifada") that left thousands dead. According to Mamdouh Nawfal, Arafat's advisor for internal affairs and member of the Palestinian Supreme National Security Council, Arafat summoned the Palestinian leadership just days before Sharon's planned visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and told them the following:
"[Arafat said:] 'The Al-Aqsa Mosque is in danger, and as Allah is my witness, I make this known.' [Arafat] spoke with the knowledge that Jerusalem is a special place for the Palestinian nation, for the Arab people and Islam, and with full conviction that it would be easy to involve the Palestinian and Arab street and to motivate them to participate in a battle of defense for Jerusalem and the holy places. He was certain that the masses of believers would hurry to the defense of Al-Aqsa."
[Al-Ayyam, Aug. 30, 2001]

PA Minister: Arafat instructed the PA to prepare the Intifada
"Imad Faluji, PA Minister of Communications stressed that the PA began the preparations and to get ready for the outbreak of the current Intifada since the return from the negotiations at Camp David at the request of President Yasser Arafat, who expected it [to be] the stage complementing the Palestinian resolve in the negotiations, and not just as a protest to [Israeli Parliament Member Ariel] Sharon's visit to the Noble Sanctuary of Jerusalem (i.e., the Temple Mount)... Faluji said that the PA made the factions and political forces responsible for directing the Intifada. ... He emphasized that the Intifada would continue and that it will inevitably bring about a new reality which will be nothing other than an 'independent state.' Faluji did not rule out the possibility that the PA would turn into a (violent) resistance enterprise because of the continued Israeli arrogance and stubbornness."
[Al-Ayyam, Dec. 6, 2000]

PA Minister: Arafat planned Intifada terror for 3 months
Imad Faluji, PA Minister of Communications:
"Whoever thinks that the Intifada started because of the hated Sharon's visit to Al-Aqsa Mosque is mistaken. That was only the straw breaking the Palestinian people's patience. This Intifada was already planned since [Arafat] the President returned from the recent talks at Camp David [July 2000]."
[Private filming of speech by Faluji, Dec. 5, 2000]


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