Arafat planned and led the Intifada: Testimonies from PA leaders and others
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."
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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."
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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."
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..."
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."
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"
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]."
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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."
"Arafat came back [from the Camp David talks] and ignited the Al-Aqsa Intifada"
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."
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."
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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"
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]."
Suha Arafat's statement about Arafat planning the Intifada:
Official PA daily: The PA leadership pushed society into conflict in the second Intifada
Official PA daily: During the Intifada the PA permitted use of weapons
"[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.'"
Official PA daily: Arafat started the Intifada
Op-ed by Bakr Abu-Bakr:
Senior Fatah leader: Arafat and Fatah started the Intifada
Interview with Muhammad Dahlan, member of the Fatah Central Committee:
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."
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."
Dahlan: Arafat deceived world when condemning terror
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."
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:
Fatah official: Arafat financed suicide terror while also condemning it
Sultan Abu Al-Einein, Fatah Secretary General in Lebanon:
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:
PA Minister: Oslo gave Palestinians the tools to "create the great Intifada"
Ziyad Abu Ein, PA Deputy Minister of Prisoners Affairs:
"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..."
Abbas admits sending terrorists to kill Israelis
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas:
Arafat planned every step of Intifada terror
Deputy Director of the PA's Political and National Education Authority, Mazen Izz Al-Din:
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:
PA Minister: Arafat instructed the PA to prepare the Intifada
PA Minister: Arafat planned Intifada terror for 3 months
Imad Faluji, PA Minister of Communications: