NEW YORK – Contrary to the recent claim by White House spokesman Ari Fleischer that there is no evidence of Saudi Arabian financial support for Palestinian Arab terrorism, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) points out that there is, in fact, considerable evidence that the Saudis are doing so.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said: The Bush administrations position is yet another example of its policy of appeasing regimes that harbor or sponsor terrorists, such as Syria, the Palestinian Authority, and Saudi Arabia.
* State Department condemned Saudis for rewarding terrorists families:
The Saudi Arabian government provides cash payments of $5,333 to each family of any martyr who is killed while trying to murder Israelis, and a telethon on Saudi Arabian government-controlled television in April 2002 has been raising money for the Palestinian uprisingand it has raised $92-million so far. (New York Post, April 12, 2002; Washington Times, April 24, 2002.)
A press release posted on the official web site of the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington reported that the Saudi government had provided financial support to 1,000 families of Palestinian martyrs in the year 2000, and in March 2001, according to the web site, $33-million was set aside for this purpose. State Department spokesman Greg Sullivan told the Forward (March 22, 2002): This is not going for assistance of an humanitarian nature. Thats clearly in the avenue of encouraging terrorism Weve seen the same thing from Iran and Iraq, though I dont like putting the Saudis with those two.
On February 18, 2002, the Saudi Interior Minister, Nayef bin Abdul-aziz, published a notice in the official Palestinian Authority newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, offering instructions to the families on how to apply for their Saudi rewards. Documents captured by the Israeli forces from PA offices include a list of one group of beneficiaries the relatives of eight Palestinian terrorist bombers, all of them specifically and explicitly singled out by Saudi bookkeepers for their participation in amaliah istishadiah: suicide operations. (The Weekly Standard, May 20, 2002)
Additional documents captured by the Israelis include correspondence between PA officials and Saudi officials, in which Yasir Arafat complains about that Saudi aid does not reach the Fatah, but is given to Hamas and radical Islamic groups associated with Hamas. (The Weekly Standard, May 27, 2002)
* Powell called Saudi subsidies to terrorists families a real problem:
On July 3, 2002, the official Saudi Press Agency reported that the kingdom has transferred more than $500,000 to the PLO. The agency said this was the second remittance by the government-sponsored Peoples Committee for Assistance of Palestinian Fighters this year. Asked about the report, Secretary of State Colin Powell did not deny Saudi financing to Palestinian insurgents With respect to payments to organizations such as Hamas and similar organizations, we have spoken to our Arab friends, and the president has made reference to this in his speech, that this kind of payment should stop, Powell said. The Saudis would say that they are not giving it to an organization, theyre giving it to individuals in need, Powell said. Nevertheless, I think its a real problem when you incentivize in any way suicide bombings. (Middle East Newsline, July 4, 2002)
* Saudi Arabia supports Palestinian resistance:
Saudi, Iraqi Money Relieve Palestinian Suffering was the headline of an article in the July 4, 2002 edition of the pro-Arafat newspaper Jerusalem Times. It described how the Palestinian Authority channels funds from the Iraqi and Saudi Arabian governments to the families of martyrs, whether they were armed fighters or civilians. The money is also given to families of imprisoned terrorists. The article reported that Ahmed Bahr, president of the largest charitable organization in Gaza, as saying that he receives money from abroad, including some from Saudi Arabia, and distributes it to orphans, the injured, prisoners, and needy families. The article also quoted Ahmed Al-Kurd, director of another such charity, the Islamic Rapprochement Organization, as saying that Saudi Arabia has supported the Palestinian resistance for 54 years.
* Jaffee Center: Saudis support Hamas:
According to a study by the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, at Tel Aviv University, Hamass organizational infrastructure is dependent on external sources of financing, mainly contributions to local Islamic associations from the Gulf states, primarily Saudi Arabia. No such associations could operate in Saudi Arabia without the approval of the Saudi government. (Anat Kurz and Nahman Tal, Hamas: Radical Islam in a National Struggle, Jaffee Center Memorandum No. 48, July 1997, p. 20)
* Saudis fund Hamas missiles:
In the spring of 2002, U.S. troops in Sarajevo found, in the office of the Saudi High Commission for Relief of Bosnia and Herzegovina, documents that proved Saudi funding of the Hamas terrorist group to enable it to produce a short-range missile called the Qassam. (New York Post, April 15, 2002)
* Saudis financed PLO terrorism:
During the peak of PLO terrorism, in the 1970s and 1980s, the Saudi Arabian government provided the PLO with over $100-million in annual aid. (Jerusalem Post, Sept. 18, 1981)
* Saudis gave U.S. weapons to PLO:
The Saudis also provided weapons to PLO terrorists. For example, the terrorists who massacred 38 Israeli civilians on the Tel Aviv highway in March 1978 were found to have been armed with U.S.-made M-16 automatic rifles and standard U.S. Army explosives, bearing Saudi Army markings and serial numbers. These armaments had been provided by the U.S. to Saudi Arabia, and were then given by the Saudis to the PLO. (Jerusalem Post, April 4, 1978.)