More Evidence That “Al-Aksa Martyrs” Terrorists Are Part Of Arafat’s Fatah
March 18, 2002

“Al Aksa” Killers
Take Orders From Arafat

NEW YORK – A senior official of Yasir Arafat’s Palestinian Authority has publicly confirmed that the “Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade” —which has claimed responsibility for numerous terrorist attacks against Israel— is part and parcel of Arafat’s Fatah movement.

The Israeli daily Ha’aretz reports (March 18, 2002) that Jibril Rajoub, chief of the PA’s Preventive Security Forces in Judea-Samaria, has confirmed that the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade is part of Fatah. Ha’aretz reports that “Israel Radio, citing an interview with Al-Hayam newspaper, quoted West Bank Preventive Security service chief Rajoub as saying, ‘The Al Aksa Brigades are the noblest phenomenon in the history of Fatah, because they restored the movement’s honor, and bolstered the political and security echelons of the Palestinian Authority.’” Rajoub also said that “the Palestinian Authority will not act against the Al Aqsa Brigades.” Ha’aretz noted that “The Preventative Security service was established in large part to thwart Palestinian terrorist attacks against Israelis.”

According to media reports, the State Department is currently considering adding the “Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade” to the U.S. terror list. However, it is not clear if the State Department will acknowledge that the Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade is part of Arafat’s Fatah movement. The State Department’s Patterns of Global Terrorism 2000, released in April 2001, referred to the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade only as “a little-known group” and did not address its relationship to Fatah (p.26). The State Department’s Report on Terrorist Activity in Which United States Citizens Were Killed, released in February 2002, referred to it as “a reportedly Fatah-linked group calling itself the ‘Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade’” (pp.4 & 20).

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) points out that the connection between the Al Aksa Brigade and Fatah has been confirmed by the Al Aksa Brigade leadership itself, as well as by Fatah, the Palestinian Authority, and the international media:

“We Are an Integral Part of Fatah”: USA Today reported on March 14, 2002: “A leader of the largest Palestinian terrorist group spearheading suicide bombings and other attacks against Israel says he is following the orders of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. ‘Our group is an integral part of Fatah,’ Maslama Thabet, 33, a leader of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, said in an interview at a West Bank refugee camp. Fatah, headed by Arafat, is the largest group in the Palestinian Authority, the government of the autonomous Palestinian territories.”

Palestinian Authority: “Al-Aksa Brigade is Part of Fatah”: The Palestinian Authority’s official Voice of Palestine Radio, in a February 18, 2002 broadcast by anchorman Nizar al-Ghul, referred to “the Brigades of the Martyrs of Al Aksa that is part of the Fatah movement.” (Translation courtesy of Prof. Michael Widlanski of Hebrew University / The Media Line, Feb.18, 2002)

Fatah Commander: “We Control Al-Aksa Brigade”: In an interview with the Israeli news agency IMRA on March 6, 2002, Husseini a-Sheikh, a senior Fatah commander in Judea-Samaria, was asked, “You also control the members of the Al Aksa Brigade?” He replied: “Yes.” The interviewer then asked: “Completely?” A-Sheikh responded: “Not completely, but we control them to one extent or another.”

“Branch of Fatah”: The New York Times (March 11, 2002), has referred to it as “the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade, the branch of Yasser Arafat’s Fatah movement responsible for much of the violence of recent months.”

“Military Wing of Fatah”: The Jerusalem Post (March 1, 2002) describes the Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigade as “a military wing of PA Chairman Yasser Arafat’s Fatah faction.”

“Affiliated with Fatah”: The Washington Post (Jan.23, 2002) has referred to it as “the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, an armed group affiliated with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s Fatah organization and (March 12, 2002) as “the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a Palestinian militia linked to Yasser Arafat’s Fatah movement that has repeatedly carried out lethal attacks on Israeli soldiers and civilians.”

“Associated with Fatah”: The Jewish Telegraphic Agency (March 13, 2002) has described the Al-Aksa Brigades as “a group associated with Yasser Arafat’s Fatah movement” and “is considered Fatah’s military wing.”

“Linked to Fatah”: The Israeli daily Ha’aretz (March 5, 2002) has referred to it as “the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, a militia linked to the Fatah party of Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat.”

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