Israel: Arafat official confesses to using international aid for terror

May 21, 2006

Fuad Shubaki was one of Chairman Arafat's top finance officials, and reported to be a key member of Palestinian gun running operations. In March 2006, he was captured by Israeli security services, which claim that he has confessed to using international donations for terrorist activity. He is reported to have acted together with the whole Palestinian security apparatus and under Arafat's direct orders.

Should this confession be proved in a court of law, it would once again vindicate the position consistently maintained by the Funding for Peace Coalition. Despite constant and consistent denials by the European Commission, the Palestinian Authority has used foreign aid supplied by Europe to fund corruption, violence and terror.

The United Press International report on the Israeli revelations is reproduced below.

Foreign aid used for arms, Shin Bet says

TEL AVIV, Israel, May 18 (UPI) -- The Palestinian Authority under Yasser Arafat allegedly spent millions of dollars to buy weapons for its security services in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

Ha'aretz, quoting Israel's Shin Bet security service, said information on the purchases - undertaken with foreign aid money and with tax funds returned to the PA by Israel -- was disclosed by former PA finance official Faud Shubaki.

Shubaki, described as a confidant to Arafat, was captured by Israel in March when security forces raided the PA prison in Jericho following the withdrawal of international monitors.

Shubaki, 64, reportedly told Shin Bet that Arafat ordered the arms buys in 2000 and that all senior Palestinian Authority security officials were involved. Purchases reportedly amounted to $5 million annually for PA security services in the Gaza Strip and $1 million annually for the West Bank.

Shubaki was arrested by the PA in 2002 following U.S. pressure resulting from Israel sizing a ship loaded with weapons.

According to the news report, Shin Bet said Shubaki said Arafat funded the Karina operation and it was undertaken in cooperation with Iran, which donated the weapons destined for the Palestinians.

Ha'aretz cautioned, however, that the Shin Bet report appeared to be timed to coincide and possibly complicate efforts by European nations to provide emergency funding to pay the wages of PA officials following the clamp down on aid resulting from the PA election victory of Hamas.

Hamas, which now controls the PA parliament, refused to disavow violence towards Israel.

Arafat died in 2004 and was succeeded by Mahmoud Abbas.

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