Hamas Leader: Arafat Gave Us Weapons for Attacks

Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Zahar reveals that in 2000, former PA Chairman provided weapons for Hamas.

Ben Ariel ,

Mahmoud al-Zahar
Mahmoud al-Zahar

Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Zahar recently revealed that in 2000, when former Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Yasser Arafat reached the conclusion that the Camp David negotiations were futile, he provided weapons for Hamas to carry out terrorist attacks.

The comments were made in an interview with the Hamas-owned Al-Aqsa TV channel. The interview, which aired December 14, was translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

“From the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in 1994 until 2000, we were subject to repeated arrests. You would get out of one prison and go into another,” al-Zahar said.

“Then, [Arafat] reached the conclusion that the negotiations in Camp David were futile. He sent someone from the Preventive Security Force to Hamas, to Sheik Salah Shehade. The man said to Sheik Shehade: ‘We don't mind if Hamas carries out operations.’ When we discussed this, some of us said that these people [the PA] only wanted to expose our Unit 103, which was operating under the name of ‘Omar Al-Mukhtar,’ so that they could snitch on them. These were the people who were involved in the security cooperation with Israel,” he continued.

“Others among us thought that we should take advantage of this opportunity, and carry out joint operations with [Fatah], or accept from them weapons that were known to be at their disposal, so that if they decided to snitch on us, they would be implicated as well.

“So we took weapons from them and carried out operations...” said al-Zahar, who then reiterated that the weapons were taken “From Fatah here [in Gaza]. From the PA here. The RPGs... Some people were martyred...”

Al-Zahar’s comments follow those of Arafat’s widow, Suha, who admitted several years ago that her husband had decided long before former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s contentious visit to the Temple Mount that he would launch a war of terror against Israel.

Sharon’s visit unleashed a wave of intense international condemnations and was widely, yet falsely, believed to have provided the impetus for the war of terror that was waged against the state of Israel.

“Yasser Arafat had made a decision to launch the Intifada,” Suha told Dubai TV in an interview in 2012, also translated by MEMRI.

“Camp David had failed, and he said to me: ‘You should remain in Paris.’”

“I asked him why and he said: ‘Because I am going to start an Intifada. They want me to betray the Palestinian cause. They want me to give up on our principles, and I will not do so.’”

In another instance, also uncovered by MEMRI, Arafat’s former bodyguard confirmed that the late PA chairman would lie when he condemned suicide bombings in Israel.

The bodyguard revealed in an interview that after a suicide bombing in Israel, then-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak would call Arafat and pressure him to condemn the attack.

“Then Arafat would condemn the bombing in his own special way, saying: ‘I am against the killing of civilians.’ But that wasn’t true,” he said.

He also justified Arafat’s actions, saying, “Islam allows you to lie in three cases: In order to reconcile two people...If your wife is ugly, you are allowed to tell her she is the most beautiful woman alive. The third case is politics. You are allowed to lie in politics.”