Former terrorist: 'Occupation' industry a lie which serves corruption

Ex-Fatah terrorist describes how left-wing organizations, PA leaders exploit Palestinian Arabs for their own monetary gain.

Shimon Cohen ,

Mohammad Masad then and now
Mohammad Masad then and now

Mohammad Masad is a resident of Burkin village near Jenin.

In the past, he belonged to the Black Panther terrorist organization, Fatah's military wing. In a video produced and distributed by Im Tirtzu, he stated that the 'occupation' is merely a scam aimed at sending tens of millions to leftist organizations and cushioning the corruption of Mahmoud Abbas and other senior Palestinian Authority officials.

"That's the way it has been since the 1980s when they knew each other," he said of the link between left-wing organizations and the leadership of the PA and corruption there. "They found that it would be good for both sides. They lied that it was for peace and the Palestinian people. It turned out for sure it was only for the benefit of the corrupt," he told Arutz Sheva.

Masad added: "They are based on the suffering and the struggle between the two peoples. They benefit from the suffering and if there is a calm they will have nothing to do. They will want the suffering to continue." Masad said that he says the same to the representatives of the leftist organizations, but he always received the same response: "I've been telling them this for twenty years. They don't accept it and say they're democrats, but I haven't seen dictatorial thought like theirs. They see themselves as the only just people in the world and everything else is wrong and devilish. I tell them not to look at me as a weak and small Arab. Look at me out of equality."

And, perhaps, we asked, are there also innocent activists within these organizations who truly and truly believe that they are promoting peace through the demonstrations and protests they organize? "There is no such thing as innocent," Masad replied emphatically. "They need to investigate the situation and understand the data properly. Go to the demonstration and set up tires, where is the peace in it? What does it do for the benefit of both peoples?"

מוחמד עארף מסאד
צילום: עצמי

Masad strongly criticized the harassment of IDF soldiers by left-wing organizations during operations in Judea and Samaria. "Interrupting a soldier and preventing him from fighting terrorism? He is in the villages not to hurt the innocent Palestinian resident. The soldiers help us in many cases. They help residents who need help, so they come from the extreme left and bother them?"

When asked how his opinions are seen in his home town, he replied that "98 percent of the Palestinian population believes this, but the problem is the other two percent that is the state that have benefited from the corruption. The economy is in the hands of the corrupt and the power is in the hands of the terrorists and no one is protecting the innocent Palestinian who wants real peace and security."

"If we were to say that in our villages and towns, a day or hours later the Israeli soldiers will leave the village and we will be left with the corrupt and the terrorists and we will be killed in the street," said Masad, adding: "the 98% cannot express themselves with such words." As for himself, Masad said he deals with threats to his life for speaking out, but that will not stop him from expressing his views. "I believe in G-d and that he determines my destiny. He determines who will live and who will die. If I was not afraid for my life when I was against Israel and wrong, why should I fear now that I am right and working for the good of my people and our children?"

Masad does not accept the left's arguments that they are working to bring about the establishment of an independent Palestinian state as part of a future of peace. "I don't believe them because I saw the country based on the corrupt and the terrorists in Gaza. It caused me more disaster than any occupation. So if all the world comes and tell me to take a state, I tell them I don't have the capability to run a state. When you come to the Palestinians like this, it's like you give a vehicle to someone who has never driven and doesn't have a license. He's going to kill others."

Addressing the PA's corruption, Masad said: "It's visible to the world. Everyone sees it. We sat abandoned during the coronavirus period for more than seventy days as the PA met and discussed how to raise their salaries, salaries of thousands of dollars."

"We see this corruption every day and every hour throughout. Not only from the leaders but also from those close to the table. If someone is close to the PA, he is rich, he is the master of the land, he does what he wants and when he wants without account," said Masad. He listed examples from daily life. "He can kill a normal resident and no one will bother with him. It has happened and there are documented cases. He can open any business he wants and prevent others from opening businesses like his business. He can make a monopoly for himself. He can take bribes for what he wants without anyone bothering with him. It's really a mafia. We are under the rule of a mafia."

And during the coronavirus crisis, the PA used its representatives to ask for donations around the world as if to help the population, but in fact the whole amount went to the benefit of the elite in the PA. "Those in need, no one looked out for them, and no one helped them. These are people who did not have NIS 2.5 for pita and bread but the decision makers took their aid money. The authority has set up an aid fund and announced that they are donating NIS 700 to each family in need, but this money has gone to the PA, the Tanzim and their associates, and those who actually needed the aid did not receive anything."

In such a reality, we asked, what is his solution? Is he ready to live under Israeli rule? "The truth is that Israeli government is more comfortable. It follows the law. If I am a good person I will be treated fairly under the law and as a human being, and if I am a terrorist I will be punished. But in the rule of these mafias, if I am a good person and a simple citizen they steal from me and torture me and use dictatorship against me. It is the opposite of Israeli rule where even if the prime minister is wrong I can sue him in court. For the 98% of the Palestinian people it would be better for them to live under the rule of justice instead of a government that abuses them, starves them, and steals from them."

Regarding the argument that as long as the simple Palestinian Arab cannot vote for the Knesset it is not his government, Masad said: "If this government, which is not mine, is better for me than my government and gives me more rights than my government then I prefer the government which is not mine. I don't want to put a ballot in the ballot box for those who starve me and abuse me and distribute my money and rights to their associates."

Towards the end, we asked Muhammad to explain what his activities within the Black Panther terror squad meant, "It was in the early 1990s. The Black Panther is the military arm of Fatah in the West Bank. We used weapons. We were the first squads to use weapons. I am from the squad that first met with engineer Yahya Ayesh. My squad entered Israel to kidnap an Israeli soldier and release Palestinian prisoners. Since I was a 14-15 year old, I have held Kalashnikovs and guns."

Following these actions, Muhammad was arrested but released as part of the Oslo Accords and has been fighting against the PA and corruption since "the first day they arrived in the country."