Posted by: Morton A. Klein
February 12, 2002
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Special ZOA Backgrounder: Arafat’s Most Likely Successors Include Terrorists, A Holocaust-Denier, And A Spy For Saddam – Part 2 of 2: Mohammed Dahlan, Jibril Rajoub, Sari Nusseibeh


Media reports have repeatedly named six Palestinian Authority officials as the individuals most likely to succeed Yasir Arafat as chairman of the PA. (Two of them, Mahmoud Abbas and Ahmed Qurei, were recently mentioned by Arafat himself as possible successors – see Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Feb. 8, 2002.)


4. MOHAMMED DAHLAN Dahlan, 41, is chief of the Palestinian Security Forces in Gaza. He spent four years in Israeli prison for terrorist activities, and was a commander of operations for Arafat’s Fatah terror group during the mass “intifada” violence that began in 1987. According to the Israeli government, Dahlan is one of the primary directors of the current terrorist violence against Israelis in the Gaza region.


Masterminded bombing of Israeli bus: Israel Radio reported on October 20, 2000, that “Dahlan was behind the October 18 bombing of an Israeli bus in Gush Katif.” The Israeli daily Ha’aretz reported on November 16, 2000, that “members of the Preventive Security Force in Gaza, headed by Mohammed Dahlan, were involved in a series of attacks on Israelis in Gush Katif and Netzarim.” Ha’aretz reported on April 17, 2001, that Yasir Arafat “takes an active part in decisions regarding the firing of mortars. The general directives in this regard are passed to Mohammed Dahlan, and from Dahlan to his deputy, Rashid Abu Shabak.”


Ordered rocket attack on an Israeli bus: Dahlan is currently a defendant in a lawsuit filed by victims Arab terrorism, including an American citizen as well as three children whose legs were blown off in a Dahlan-directed rocket attack on a bus on November 20, 2000. The Israeli daily Hatzofeh has reported (April 13, 2001) that the Central Intelligence Agency has tape recordings of telephone conversations in which Dahlan can be heard ordering the November 20 rocket attack and other terrorist attacks against Israelis.


Shelters Hamas terrorists: Dahlan told the PA-sponsored newspaper Al Ayam on Oct.26, 1998 that terrorist groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad “will not be outlawed.”


Hired Hamas terrorists: Dahlan said in an interview with the PA newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadidah on Sept.24, 1998, that 25 more Hamas terrorists have been hired by his force, specifically in order to protect them from being arrested by the Israelis.


Praised Hamas terrorists: In an interview with the Hamas newspaper Al-Risallah (cited in Ha’aretz, June 15, 1997), Dahlan said: “The presence of Hamas on Palestinian territory is very important for building the Palestinian homeland.”


Threatened violence against Israel: On August 30, 1996, Dahlan said: “The Palestinian Authority does not exclude the return to the armed struggle, and it will then use its weapons.” (Jerusalem Report, Nov. 28, 1996)


5. JIBRIL RAJOUB Rajoub, 48, is chief of the Palestinian Security Forces in Judea-Samaria.


Terrorist background: Rajoub spent 1968-1985 in Israeli prisons for terrorist activities. After being released in a May 1985 prisoner exchange, he was rearrested and served another prison term, in 1985-1986, because of his continued involvement with terrorists. As a result of his role in the mass violence that began in 1987, Israel expelled Rajoub to Lebanon. He then settled in Palestinian Authority-controlled territory in 1994.


Responsible for murders of 15 Israelis: According to the Israeli daily Ma’ariv (Jan.24, 1996), Rajoub was responsible for the shooting attacks by PA policemen against Israeli soldiers in September 1996, in which 15 Israeli soldiers were killed.


Praised Hamas: Rajoub told Al-Jazira Television on May 27, 1998: “We view Hamas as part of the national and Islamic liberation movement…At the top of my list is the occupation and not Hamas. We are not interested in arrests.”


Support for anti-Israel terrorism: In 1996, Rajoub remarked: “If I have information about terror activity in Area B [where Israel has responsibility for security], I won’t give it to the Israelis.” (Yediot Ahronot, April 12, 1996)


In a lecture at Bethlehem University in 1994, Rajoub said: “We sanctify the weapons found in the possession of the national factions which are directed against the occupation … If there are those who oppose the agreement with Israel, the gates are open to them to intensify the armed struggle.” (Yediot Ahronot, May 27, 1994)


In an interview in 1994, Rajoub said: “Rabin has to remove all the settlers from the West Bank and Gaza and transfer them to hell.” He also threatened: “We shall distribute weapons to the Palestinian residents and return to the armed struggle.” (Yediot Ahronot, March 4, 1994)


“The Palestinian Saddam”: “After the 1967 Six Day War, the teenage Rajoub was making his name as a brutal Fatah activist with an ability to organize terrorist cells.” (Jerusalem Post, May 19, 1995) … “Jordanian officials and Palestinian dissidents say Rajoub is ready to trample over anybody to further his interests.” (Jerusalem Post, May 19, 1995) … “Rajoub’s blunt manner—and the vulgar language he often sues—are in marked contrast to the polished ways of more aristocratic Palestinian leaders.” (Jerusalem Report, Jan.22, 1998) … Rajoub was once “reprimanded by Arafat for slapping Ahmed Tibi, the PA chief’s Israeli Arab adviser, in the face for an imagined insult.” (Jerusalem Report, Jan.22, 1998)


Tortured journalist: In 1994, Rajoub “used his considerable power to settle a score”—he arrested, and threatened to kill, a journalist who had implicitly criticized him; “the journalists got away with being tortured, and was released after two days.” (Jerusalem Report, Oct.26, 1998) … In 1997, Rajoub “got into a power struggle with Sakher Habash of Ramallah…In a letter to Arafat, which contained several juicy obscenities, Rajoub said he would trample Habash with my shoes.’”(Jerusalem Report, Jan.22, 1998) … “‘I am very worried by the policy of this man who violated so brutally human rights in the territories,’ says Bassam Eid, a researcher at B’tselem, a human rights group…’I define him as the Saddam of the territories,’ says a leading Palestinian who, like most other critics interviewed for this article, fears to be named. ‘I recently returned from Iraq and I was reminded of this person.’” (Jerusalem Post, May 19, 1995)


6. SARI NUSSEIBEH Nusseibeh, 52, was last year appointed by Arafat as the PA official in charge of Jerusalem affairs. He is frequently interviewed by the international media as a spokesman for the PA.


Support for violence against Israelis: Nusseibeh has not publicly criticized the PA’s 17-month long terrorist war against Israel. This is consistent with his statements to the pro-Arafat Jerusalem Arab newspaper Al Fajr in August 1993, that “military means against Israel are vindicated by Israeli practices” and that he supports “the use of force against Israelis as a means of support of our negotiating position.” (As quoted in the Cleveland Jewish Times, Sept.8, 1993)


In 1986, he called a terrorist hijacking of an Israeli bus “a very daring attack.” (Jerusalem Post, July 3, 1986) In 1987, he endorsed Arab rock-throwing attacks against Israelis, saying: “I think it is a kind of exorcism to throw a stone at Satan.” (International Herald-Tribune, June 4, 1987)


Senior role in “intifada” violence: Nusseibeh also played an important role in the mass Palestinian Arab violence (intifada) of 1987-1989. In bills of indictment brought against seven leaders of the violence in Lod Military Court in 1989 (bill 108/89 and 109/89), the Israeli Government prosecutor stated that Nusseibeh served as a conduit for money “for financing the ‘intifada’”; and that Nusseibeh was responsible for “drawing up reports and leaflets for ‘intifada’ purposes such as instructing ‘intifada’ activists,” including leaflets which called for “throwing firebombs” at Israelis and “fighting with knives.” (A summary of the charges appeared in the New York Times on May 5, 1989 and May 21, 1989.)


Helped direct Saddam’s missile attacks on Israel: Nusseibeh’s activity as a spy for Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War has been documented by Prof.Michael Widlanski of Hebrew University: “During the 1991 Gulf War, Nusseibeh was caught contacting Iraqi intelligence officials in order to help direct the Scud rocket attacks of Saddam Hussein in which four Israelis were killed (one directly) and many wounded from 39 missile strikes. ‘While the rockets were falling it became clear to us that this gentleman was telephoning the Iraqi ambassador in one of the neighboring countries to tell the Iraqis where to shoot the missile,’ stated Col.(Res.) Shalom Harari, former Arab Affairs Advisor for the Israeli Defense Ministry… Nusseibeh was arrested by Israeli’s counter-intelligence agency, the Shin Bet and put in administrative detention without trial for several weeks. After the Gulf War ended, Israeli officials, under pressure from the Israeli Left, allowed Nusseibeh a kind of ‘plea bargain’ under which he voluntarily left the country for three years, said Harari, today a researcher at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya.” (www.themedialine.org, Dec.28, 2001)


Calling for Israel’s destruction: In a 1986 article, Nusseibeh described Israel as “a racist Zionist entity” and called for a three-stage plan of consolidating the Arab position within Israel, increasing the Arab population, and then “the final stage will be the stage of a Palestinian democratic and secular state, achieved as and when Arab Palestinians naturally become a majority.” (Jerusalem Times, May 9, 1986)


Authored Anti-American article: During the Gulf War, Nusseibeh authored an extremist anti-American article which appeared in the Arabic-language edition of Al Fajr on Jan.23, 1991 (for the English translation, see the edition of Feb.4, 1991). When Iraq invaded Kuwait, “War generals, military strategists and the military-industrial complex in the United States were ‘rejuvenated’ with this recent development,” Nusseibeh wrote. “They saw in this invasion a golden opportunity to test their machines and theories and to revive their industry and profits…The forces of aggression got themselves together to start the annihilation process using the most advanced and sophisticated weapons of mass destruction and dropping hundreds of tons of explosives on Iraq which exceed the power of the bob on Hiroshima…In order to further humiliate the Arab world and rub the Arabs’ nose in the dirt, the war in the Gulf was dubbed the ‘six hour war.’”


Jewish leader called Nusseibeh “con man” and liar: The vice president of the World Jewish Congress, Isi Leibler, has written: “Nusseibeh’s behavior does not imply ‘moderate’ dissent from Arafat. It is more likely a propaganda weapon ultimately controlled by Arafat—a man who has established a consistent tradition of speaking with a forked tongue…At best he is a propagandist playing his role in a good cop, bad cop performance orchestrated by Arafat. At worst he is a straightforward con man.” (Jerusalem Post, Jan. 24, 2002)