27 March 2004

Fatah confession sheds new light on Arafat's terror links
By Amos Harel, Haaretz Correspondent
A confession by a member of Fatah's armed branch in Nablus has shed new light on the extent of Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat's involvement in terror. The terror suspect told Shin Bet security service interrogators that money he received from Arafat was used to purchase weapons and to carry out shooting attacks in the West Bank.
Raaf Mansur, from the Nablus area, was detained by Israel Defense Forces soldiers last February. Mansur headed a wing of Fatah's military branch, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades. His cell was responsible for attacks in the Nablus and Jenin areas.
Letters confiscated by Israeli security forces from Mansur's home included pleas sent to Arafat for money to fund armed activities. Mansur told interrogators that his appeals to Arafat resulted in a monthly NIS 7,500 payment to him. The allocations continued up to the time of Mansur's arrest.
Mansur explained that the money was delivered via Abed al-Fatah Hameil, who serves as a financial adviser to the PA chairman. Mansur and Hameil met several times in Nablus. Mansur presented a list of his cell members and, after reviewing the names, Arafat's assistant delivered the funds.
Hameil would confirm the militants belonged to Fatah and that they were dealing with "military activity." In a few instances, Hameil helped find work for Mansur's men in the PA apparatus.
Mansur confessed to involvement in shooting attacks in the West Bank (he claimed nobody was injured in them) and to sending his men to throw Molotov cocktails at IDF vehicles and settlers on roads east of Nablus. Arafat's money, he explained, was used to finance the purchase of firearms for terror cells and to cover expenses incurred in the armed activity.