Arafat and Khameini: US. And Israel Behind Attacks and Beheadings

Arab leaders throughout the Middle East have begun adding an interesting twist to their condemnations of terror attacks. From Ramallah to Tehran, claims that the United States and Israel are behind the worst terror attacks on civilians of their own countries are being sounded with increasing frequency.

"You know who is behind these acts," Yasser Arafat told reporters at his Ramallah compound following the murderous terror attack in Tel Aviv on Sunday that claimed the life of a 19-year-old female soldier. "Europe knows it, the Americans know it, the Israelis know it." The PLO chief went on to claim that only Israel stands to gain from such attacks, adding that those responsible are also those who killed Tourism Minister Rechavam ("Gandhi") Zeevi and who carried out an earlier bombing attack against Israelis. In the past, Arafat has accused the Israeli secret service of carrying out such attacks as provocation.

According to Palestinian Media Watch, Arafat said on official PA television, "We are against such kinds of bombings, and you must never forget that the Israelis are completely behind it, as they have been in the past. You know who is behind these acts, which are aimed at harming the court decision [against the counter-terrorism partition]." Arafat continued, "We most not forget who stands behind them, as it was in Beit Lid [a 1995 double suicide bombing attack that killed 21 people, mostly soldiers]... [and] who murdered [the late tourism minister Rechavam] Ze'evi, who is behind Ze'evi... [Israel] ...attempts to cover up what happened in the Hague!"

Arafat is not the only member of the PA that ascribes to such theories. Hatem Abdul Kader, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and a leader of Fatah, told the Arab news site Al Bawaba, "It is possible that the Al Aqsa Brigades may have done [the bombing] themselves... It is possible that some cells may have been manipulated by Palestinians or Israelis who have an interest in seeing the International Courts verdict reversed... Some bombings that the [Al Aqsa] Brigades have claimed responsibility for may have been carried out by them. However, some bombings could have been done by Israel itself. We cannot say that there is Israeli penetration within the Brigades... but what I am trying to say is that any one can claim responsibility for any bombing."

Such conspiracy theories are not confined to the Palestinian camp. Iran's Supreme Leader," Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khameini, in a meeting with visiting Prime Minister of Singapore Goh Chok Tong on Tuesday, spoke about world terrorism, including the beheadings of foreign civilians taking place in Iraq. "We seriously suspect the agents of the Americans and Israelis," Khameini said, according to Iran's IRNA news agency, "in conducting such horrendous terrorist moves, and cannot believe that the people who kidnap Filipino nationals, for instance, or behead U.S. nationals are Muslims."

Khameini also said on Tuesday that drug addiction and ethical wrongdoings amongst Iran's youth were the fault of the Americans and Zionists, IRNA reported: "There is no doubt that the hands and brains of the enemies are behind the conspiracy of drug addiction and ethical lawlessness."