On September 14, 1998, a figure who was anonymous at the time to most of the Israeli public, Marwan Barghouti, the Fatah secretary general on the West Bank, wrote a short memo to the boss, Yasser Arafat, that read: “In honor of Brother President Abu Amar, may God protect him, in the name of the homeland and of the return, I request your decision in the matter of employing four of the brothers, members of the Tamoun sub-district branch committee, to a full time position in one of the security organizations, so that they can be employed in the Tanzim.” This is followed by a list of names and ends with a parting blessing: “and may you be leaders and commanders of the homeland and of the people, Marwan Barghouti.”
On the margins of the page, diagonally, Arafat added a laconic order in his own hand to the three senior commanders of the security organizations: “Do what is needed to employ them.”
This seemingly innocuous memo, which is published here for the first time, is one of the numerous documents that prove the great fraud. Since 1997, Arafat and his men deliberately and systematically, and in blatant violation of the agreements signed with Israel, created a series of militias, shadow armies ostensibly unlinked to the Palestinian Authority. They secretly relocated personnel and resources from the PA’s security organizations to these militias in order for them to compete with the rising popularity of the Islamic terror organizations.
In fact, from the time of the Western Wall tunnel clashes [September 1996], the PA armed these militias in anticipation of a violent confrontation with Israel. In January 2001, the Israeli public learned the hard and painful way about the local Tanzim militias. Despite the Tanzim’s involvement in terror attacks, the PA leaders, particularly Arafat, insisted that they were unconnected to the terror industry or that he had any control over it. However, the hundreds of thousands of documents seized in the course of Operation Defensive Shield, of which only a small part have been translated until now, unequivocally prove that Arafat and his men knew, initiated, prepared, fanned and continued to fan this fire.
The mukataa documents and the documents seized from Palestinian headquarters in seven of the eight major cities in the West Bank are now laid out in a huge IDF Intelligence hangar, which normally is used to store APCs. Early last week a reserve soldier sat in the middle of the hangar, wearing a T-shirt and army fatigue pants, eating tuna and going through a document in Arabic taken from Rais Arafat’s office. The air conditioner was broken, and the reservist occasionally made use of the fascinating document as a fan. All around him were huge piles of crates and drawers. Tons of files and cartons, containing the most secret secrets of the Palestinian Authority. In fact, the entire organizational memory of the PA is in Israel’s hands. A GSS official who works in the territories and is familiar with the material seized, describes it as “the wettest dream I’ve ever dreamed. This is a very rare situation, in which all our main collection targets have become available overnight. Documents for which we would have had to pay a fortune to agents just for part of them, are now available to all, we just need enough people to read and translate them.”
There does not appear to be anyone today, except perhaps for the Palestinian Authority, who doubts the authenticity of the documents. The question of credibility pertains only to the interpretation that the IDF gives them. Thus far, for example, a single document has not been found with Arafat’s signature on an order to commit a terror attack, or an admission that he knows that so and so committed or will commit a terror attack. Nor does IDF Intelligence expect to find anything like that. If Arafat approves a payment to someone, and Israel claims that that individual was involved in terror, we can accept Israeli intelligence and assume that Arafat knew of it — or not. In some cases the verdict is straightforward, since the documents show that the Palestinians themselves knew very well who was doing want and who was wanted by Israel.
At first, the Palestinians contended that it was all a fabrication. After that they said that the documents were authentic, but don’t prove anything. After that they again went back to the fabrication argument, and recently conveyed a demand through European institutions to have the documents returned to them, because they can’t function without them. After all, it’s very hard to argue with documents with Arafat’s signature on them. IDF Intelligence has also made a graphological comparison between Arafat’s signature on the seized documents and his signature on the Oslo accords, where he promised to eradicate terror.
Israel is gradually releasing parts of these documents to prove the PA’s direct involvement in terror. At first they were greeted with great suspicion, but eventually acquired credibility and became the most important factor for Bush’s aggressive speech. Last week IDF Intelligence opened the hangar to Yedioth Ahronoth for a rare glimpse. Most of the documents reviewed here are being released for the first time. As far as possible, they were examined independently and are not based on IDF Intelligence translations.
This partial sample unequivocally corroborates the most chilling arguments of senior IDF Intelligence officers on the depth of the PA’s involvement in terror, on the great degree of details that Arafat controlled when it came to approving expenditures, above and below the table, and the great gap between the partner we imagined we had, the partner we wanted, and what we got.
The Tanzim Shadow Army
In the 1995 interim agreement between Israel and the PA the official Palestinian police forces were explicitly defined and the Palestinians promised to create a uniform command hierarchy, under the control of the PA Council. However, Arafat never honored these agreements and never dreamed of dismantling the Tanzim. Just the opposite, he exploited the official security organizations as surrogates for the undercover militias. More and more requests to employ Tanzim activists on the payroll of the security organizations piled up on the rais’s desk. Thus, for example, in May 1999, Bashir Naafa, a senior member of the General Security Service, writes to Arafat about 35 people to whom he wants to pay a salary from the coffers of General Intelligence for their practical employment in the Tanzim.
All in all, the documents show that around 130 activists, most of whom belonged to Fatah but some were affiliated with other organizations, were integrated by September 2000 in the local branches with the status of “attaches” to the various security organizations. These people received a salary from the PA, while in practice worked for the local militias.
By the start of the second Intifada, in September 2000, the PA had a dilemma in regard to these “attaches.” In January 2001 the Supreme Council for National Security decided to return the attache employees to the National Security Service. The employees themselves were opposed and wrote a personal letter to Arafat, saying: “At this time the Tanzim is in desperate need of more people… in light of the unusual conditions of the Intifada and the leading role of Tanzim-Fatah in it, returning the fighters to the General Security Service would have a negative effect on its performance.” Arafat turned the letter over to the commanders of his security organizations and ultimately almost all the activists were kept as part of the Tanzim.
One example of such an activist is Nasser Awis, the commander of the El-Aksa Martyrs Brigades in Samaria, who officially was a captain in the National Security Service, but who in practice belonged to the Tanzim in Nablus. He operated cells that committed terror attacks, including, according to Israeli intelligence, terror attacks in which 17 Israelis were killed (the terror attack at the bat mitzva in Hadera in January 2001 and others in Tel Aviv, Netanya and Jerusalem). Awis continued to receive a salary in early 2002, even when he did not respond to calls to return to the National Security Service. He was eventually arrested by the IDF in April 2002. He admitted under questioning that he received money from the PA thanks to the lists he passed on to Marwan Barghouti, who passed them to Arafat. The money was sent in checks by means of the Nablus branch Fatah secretary.
Two other attache employees murdered Ophir Rahum on January 17, 2001. Rahum was lured into coming to the territories by a honey trap on the Internet. One of them was killed by Israel a short time later. The other killer, Abed el-Fatah Tzabari Moussa Dola from Tanzim-Fatah in Ramallah, demanded that he remain on the list of attache employees of the General Security Service so as to continue to receive a salary from the PA — four months after the murder.
The documents show, therefore, unequivocally, that even when it was clear to the senior PA echelons that members of its security organizations were involved in terror, they did nothing, but continued to fund them. Some of the documents seized show that not all the commanders in the field were happy with this practice. Thus, for example, on February 21, 2001, the commander of the General Security Service in the Hebron area, Abed el-Fatah Jaidi, sent a detailed list to the rais’s office of “soldiers from the General Security Service in Hebron attached to the Tanzim-Fatah, who have not reported back for service.” He did what he was supposed to, but the PA continued to pay the salaries of these activists. Other assistance was given to the militias by means of direct allocations to local branches as well as supplying them with arms.
The local militias, which were funded and armed by these methods, ultimately served the purpose for which they were established, and were at the forefront of the fight against Israel. They began to commit terror attacks using the name El-Aksa Martyrs Brigades and, at the end of 2001, they began to commit large-scale shooting attacks and in early 2002, launched a murderous series of suicide bombing attacks inside Israel, in which they later on also used women suicide bombers. These terror attacks were led by the local Tanzim organizations in Nablus (where 30 attache employees received a salary from the PA) and in Ramallah (40 attache employees).
The strategic decision that Arafat made — to strengthen the local militias instead of dismantling them — did not only work against Israel. Ultimately it also led to the dismantling of the PA itself. The militias turned into war barons who decided matters on the Palestinian street.
Their activists took over the food shipments and demanded that the municipalities pay them a salary and cover their expenses for gas and cellphones. Thus, for example, the El-Aksa Martyrs Brigades in Bethlehem wrote in November 2001: “To the brothers, leaders of the Bethlehem municipality and honored members of the council:
“May the blessing of the homeland be upon you. With the blessing of the pure blood which saturates the soil of our beloved region, we greet you and thank you for the enormous efforts you have made to build and develop this district… we have an issue to raise with you. This issue is your participation in a small part of the expenses of our daily needs, which are very onerous for us. We pay a price that does not exceed NIS 5,000 a month as membership dues for using the radios by members of the military branch. In addition, we also pay for fuel, which is a basic and important component for our moving from place to place, and this is in accordance with our national interest… your participation in this will lead to our glorification and our pride. […]”
Experience showed that those who tried to refuse such an appeal did not enjoy good fortune. In the PA there is an extensive network of extortion by elements connected to the PA toward Christian businessmen in the Bethlehem area. Thus, for example, gold rings were found on the fingers of the assassinated Atef Abayat — rings that belonged to the Christian businessman, George Nissan. In other cases, Fatah activists extorted respected businessmen, owners of souvenir shops, property owners and gas station owners in cooperation and in coordination with the Palestinian security organizations, who would summon the businessmen for a talk to clarify fabricated suspicions against them of collaboration with Israel. Arafat’s Note System
In one area Israeli PR efforts were counterproductive: it was said that Arafat was out of it, it was said that he did not have control, the world’s attention was directed to his trembling lips. But he was not out of it, absolutely not. One of the things that will make it difficult for Arafat to deny his direct involvement in terror is his insistence on approving, in his own hand, any expenditure exceeding USD 250 from the PA’s defense budget. This is the conclusion that IDF Intelligence has reached from the documents that were seized and examined so far. This penchant of his made him a very busy treasurer.
Thus, for example, in January 2001, he approved in his own hand-writing to “supply immediately” arms to the militia known as the Popular Struggle Front, commanded by Samir Rousha (30 Kalashnikov rifles and 15 pistols).
In May 2001 the same organization asked for “special help” for the fight against Israel. Arafat approved that month USD 25,000 and a month later, another USD 20,000. Arafat also approved paying USD 100 to each of the 65 activists of the Palestine Liberation Front, who were involved in the fighting. During the same period, this organization carried out a suicide bombing at the Checkpost intersection in Haifa, numerous shooting attacks and planted bombs in the territories.
The seized documents show that Arafat did not interfere in the decisions of the intermediate levels, who suggested who was eligible for aid, but always made sure to reduce the amount. Thus, for example, in the letter of July 2001 sent by the Fatah secretary in Bethlehem, Kamal Hamid, who asked for USD 2,000 “for each of the brothers whose name appears below,” Arafat erased the numbers and wrote in his own hand “USD 300 for each man.”
On November 7 of that same year, the same Kamal Hamid wrote to Arafat with another request for “urgent assistance of USD 3,000 for each of the following brothers, commanders and fallen, who fell in battle, and to pay some of their debts.” Some names appear on this new list who were supported by Arafat while they were alive, including Atef Abayat. Another star on the list is Hassan Abu Shaira, who shot to death Lt.-Col. Yehuda Edri, an agent handler. Arafat again only interfered in the size of the sums, he erased the numbers and wrote “to the Finance Ministry, Ramallah, pay USD 800 to each.” This Abayat was wanted by Israel for a long time and Israel conveyed requests to the PA to arrest him several times.
Arafat was quite picky in his insistence on approving all expenditures himself. He also made sure to clarify where every shekel, dinar and dollar went. Among the many documents, some of the daily correspondence that Arafat received was also found. One of them is a report from MBC on Saudi donations to the families of shahids. Arafat wrote next to this report to check immediately with the Saudis why this money was being sent directly to the families and did not go through the PA. This began an illuminating correspondence between the Palestinian ambassador in Riyadh and the kingdom’s authorities. The documents show that the Saudis, politely but firmly, did not agree to transfer the money through the PA’s coffers, for their own reasons.
The PA’s budget is made up mainly of money from the customs duties that Israel levies and passes on to the PA (and which was stopped in the course of the fighting), from taxes that the PA levies in a very partial manner, especially after the Intifada started, and from donations. The Arab states give the PA monthly assistance of USD 35 million. The EU gives the PA USD 9 million a month, around ten percent of its budget.
A section on funding Fatah does not appear among the official budget sections of the PA that is shown to the EU and to the International Monetary Fund. The money was taken from the PA salaries bank account in the Bank of Jordan. At least 60 such checks were seized in Ramallah, which show how money was transferred by Barghouti to dozens of local and sub-branches of Fatah and Tanzim in the West Bank. In a similar fashion, funding was transferred to the branches of the Shabiba movement and to the student councils of the movement in places like Bir Zeit.
Many documents were seized in Barghouti’s office in Ramallah that deal with transferring payments to Tanzim cells and to the El-Aksa Martyrs Brigades. In most cases, requests for money from the field landed on Marwan Barghouti’s desk. In a few cases the heads of the branches bypassed Barghouti and appealed directly to Arafat or other senior officials in the security organizations, such as Tawfik Tirawi. Tirawi, for example, sent a letter to Arafat asking for monetary assistance for the families of assassinated men, including the commanders of the El-Aksa Martyrs Brigades in Bethlehem, Atef Abayat and his assistant Jamal Nuora.
Time and again Barghouti comes across as a sort of mediator between the field operatives and Arafat. He is the one who recommends to Arafat to whom to give and how much. Thus, for example, he writes, “to honored President Abu Amar, may God protect him:
“Please agree to pay USD 3,000 to each of the following, as they are wanted by the occupation forces and are eligible for aid”… this letter is accompanied by a list of 20 activists.
An interesting letter was sent to “our warrior brother Abu el-Kassam (Marwan Barghouti), may God preserve him” from Khaled Abed el-Aziz Mohammed Sif, a member of the Fatah council in Nablus. “It is my wish to inform you,” he writes to Barghouti, “that I and a group of my colleagues who are wanted are unable to find anyone to give us help at these difficult economic times. I wish to tell you that we have been active for over five months in committing quality actions as part of the struggle, but we face severe problems in a lack of ammunition, and have none at this stage… we are wanted by the occupation forces. This complicates matters and, at this point, we cannot even pay rent. I am the only one who receives a sum of NIS 500 a month.” Sif adds at the end of the letter his phone number and notes, “the bearer of the letter is the mother of one of the members of our group.” At the head of the page Barghouti wrote to one of his aides “follow up on this and carry it out.”
Arafat’s and Barghouti’s close monitoring of every penny from the PA budget did not prevent, to use an understatement, corruption. As previously reported, the documents that the IDF seized corroborated evidence of the extensive corruption of senior PA officials, who built for themselves mansions at the expense of the public, as well as corruption inside the various organizations, including those that generally are considered to be ideological and clean, such as Islamic Jihad. Thus, for example, the documents show that among senior Islamic Jihad officials in the Jenin area a bitter dispute broke out over the disappearance of a huge sum of money relative to the organization, USD 127,000, which was passed by the leader, Ramadan Shalah, to support the families of those killed and detained.
The Revolving Door
One interesting document that was found last week and which is printed here for the first time demonstrates unequivocally the practice of the phenomenon Israel dubs the “revolving door policy.” This refers to the PA’s method of releasing from jail or granting “holiday furloughs” to many dozens of activists from the military arms of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, after most of them were never put on trial or questioned.
The document includes a recommendation to Brig. Gen. Haj Ismail, one of Arafat’s close associates, to release 27 Hamas and Islamic Jihad activists arrested by the PA. Senior Palestinian officers write: “To the honored brother Brig. Gen. Haj Ismail Jabar, may God protect him, commander of the General Security Service in the West Bank,” and asks: “Please approve the release of the 27 detainees arrested since no proof was found in the course of their interrogation of involvement in illegal activities.”
The GSS claims that this recommendation was adopted and the activists on the list indeed were released. IDF Intelligence Research claims that the entire list is of Hamas and Islamic Jihad activists, including some who were involved in suicide bombings, manufacturing bombs, Kassam rockets and planting bombs. Three of them were caught by the IDF in Operation Defensive Shield and at least one was killed. This was Ashraf Hamza Hassan Draghama of Tubas, who was involved after his release in planning suicide bombings and shooting attacks in Hamam el-Malih in the northern Jordan Valley. One IDF officer was killed and two soldiers were injured in that attack.
This document is from February 2, 2002, when there was a relative escalation in terror attacks. At the time the Islamic opposition was increasing its pressure to release more and more of its activists from PA jails. That very same day, in the course of a meeting of the PLO Central Committee, representatives of the Palestinian opposition at the meeting called to release all those imprisoned in PA jails. In total, in the period before Operation Defensive Shield, the PA arrested 144 people. In other words, this document led to the release of 20% of them.
Israel says that the term “no proof of their involvement in illegal activities was found in the course of their interrogation” is a legal manipulation, since terror attacks outside the PA are not against PA law. Thus, formally, these activists did not commit any offense. A reading of the original in Arabic makes it clear that there is no question about the membership of these 27 in Hamas or Islamic Jihad, two organizations publicly involved in terror against Israel.
Cross-checking the list with the data banks of Israeli intelligence also shows at once that these are well-known names. Thus, for example, Nimr Ibrahim Darawza of Nablus, whom the GSS says is a senior assistant to Hamas in Samaria. In October 2001 Darawza headed a cell that planned to send a suicide bomber to the Sharon area. This was prevented at the last moment. Abbas Fawaz Ali Naaura, a Hamas activist from el-Bireh, is also on the list, who is suspected of belonging to a cell in Ramallah that manufactured bombs and Kassam rockets. He was arrested in Operation Defensive Shield. He is an American citizen and before his affiliation with Hamas was clear, the American consulate in East Jerusalem asked the PA to release him.
The Hornets Ask for Cash
The documents that the IDF seized prove painfully how close the ties were between the legitimate Palestinian security organizations and Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and how naive often was the conception that made a distinction between the “good” organizations and the “bad” ones. The Palestinian security organizations consistently refrained from stopping terror attacks in time, including suicide bombings. At best, they looked the other way from the actions of the Islamic terror organizations and at less than best went so far as to warn the activists of planned Israeli raids and arrests.
Thus, for example, a document was seized in the mukataa belonging to Palestinian General Intelligence, with a list of “the people that must be warned when there are planes in the air.” The list includes the names of all the senior Tanzim and Hamas activists whom Israeli intelligence alleges were involved in terror attacks against Israel.
A document from the headquarters of the Preventive Security Service in Ramallah notes that General Intelligence was involved in the suicide bombing that was carried out by Wafa Idris on Jaffa Street in Jerusalem, the first by a woman, in which one person was killed and 131 injured. The document notes that immediately after the attack, Tawfik Tirawi, the commander of the Preventive Security Service, tried to prevent it coming to light that Idris was behind the attack, and tried to persuade her brother, in exchange for benefits, to say that she had moved to Jordan.
The cooperation between the terror organizations and the security organizations in Jenin stands is particularly salient. The documents show that there was a joint umbrella organization for all these organization under the title “the joint forces” to protect it from the IDF. One document mentions even a joint operations room. Another document notes that the deputy director of the Preventive Security Service in the city provided Hamas and Islamic Jihad with weapons, which came from “the weapons storeroom in northern Palestine, the contents of which were stolen” (referring to the storeroom in Kibbutz Manara).
An internal Fatah report from September 9, 2001, addressed to Barghouti, says: “of all the districts, Jenin is the district with the best and with a tremendous number of fighters who belong to Fatah and to all the national and Islamic groups. The Jenin refugee camp is considered, rightfully so, as the center and where the headquarters of the Jenin district are concentrated, a hornets nest, as the other side calls it. The Jenin refugee camp has an exceptional number of fighters and people who initiate national actions. Nothing can defeat them, and nothing scares them. They are willing to make any sacrifice. It is not strange that Jenin is known as the capital of suicide bombers.”
Another Fatah document writes that Jenin is “a Fatah fortress,” and that the El-Aksa Martyrs Brigades members in the camp are “the ones who consolidated the Fatah presence and its ability to act.” A letter from the El-Aksa Martyrs Brigades to “brother Marwan Barghouti” from May 2001 notes that there are 63 fighters of the El-Aksa Martyrs Brigades in the Jenin district divided into four units. Their activity, it says, “focuses on ongoing clashes using machine guns, grenades, explosives and mortar shells. Their activities focus on the bypass road that the settlers use.”
The letter goes on to list the “achievements of clashes in the Jenin district” and ends with a request and a threat: “so far we have not received a budget for all these actions, which entailed great expenses, whether in ammunition, weapons and fuel or whether in giving assistance to wanted men, all of whom have to provide for their families. We hope that you will help us all you can, particularly in light of the fact that the El-Aksa Martyrs Brigades has accumulated debts approaching USD 10,000. We must note that elements that oppose us have undertaken various steps, which wish to invest this money. We all hope that just as we promised loyalty to you in the past, so you will always help us and provide us with the budget for this activity, so that we can continue the resistance and develop it further.”
[Beneath are two inserts that appeared in the context of the main article:]
Who was Influenced by What
The Israeli intelligence community conducted a study to find out just what impact the seized documents had on world public opinion, and which of the documents tilted the scales. The study is still in its preliminary stages, but the interim conclusions that have been drawn indicate that Yasser Arafat’s personal involvement had the most impact [on world public opinion]. In that sense, Israel needs to thank Allah that the Palestinians did not use electronic signatures (which immediately would have been suspected as an Israeli forgery), and that the documents indicate that the rais insisted on personally authorizing every security expenditure over 250 dollars.
Among the array of documents bearing Arafat’s signature, one needs to be mentioned in particular. It was a letter that was sent to Arafat by Hussein A-Sheikh, a leading Fatah official in the West Bank, in which he requested that Abu Amar authorize 2,550 dollars in support to each one of the “following brothers.” At the head of the list submitted by A-Sheikh was Raed Karmi, the commander of Tanzim in Tulkarm, and Ziyad Mohammed Daas, a high-ranking commander in Tanzim who was behind the terror attack at the Hadera bat mitzva party. Arafat instructed that each of them was to receive 600 dollars. Arafat authorized with his own hand a request that was signed personally by Raed Karmi for urgent financial assistance for a list of Fatah activists who were involved in deadly terror attacks.
The presentation of these documents to the Americans and the Europeans, who subsequently forwarded them to Arab leaders, led to a real change. It was not that Israel’s image was improved in any meaningful way, but Arafat’s name was blackened for eternity. Israeli officials are particularly proud of the impact these documents had on the leaders of Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia who, while openly saying nothing, spoke very bluntly in their talks with US officials and in private conversations with one another.
IDF Intelligence Branch officials said that the international media was not persuaded immediately, but only gradually so, and as a result of the sheer amount of material. The IDF Intelligence Branch officials who were responsible for the presentation of the material needed to work hard to rehabilitate their credibility. The media catastrophe surrounding the Karine A affair, in which every possible mistake was made, and the pompous tone assumed in Danny Naveh’s report caused the journalists to suspect at first the authenticity of the documents.
The Americans were persuaded far more easily than the Europeans. The American intelligence officers, politicians and media all were prepared to see the overall context and to treat the issue like a legal case that was built on pieces of evidence. The IDF Intelligence Branch describes the European approach as being far more emotional, if not superficial. Some of the media in Europe, for instance, were willing to consider Arafat’s payments to Raed Karmi as assistance to terrorism. Others argued that the documents were irrelevant.
Ultimately, in addition to the documents that bear Arafat’s signature, the thing that convinced Bush were Arafat’s statements in a variety of forums about the need to “release the anger,” and particularly the documents that Israel seized in May and June (which have not been released for publication yet), which clearly indicate that even after Operation Defensive Shield and in the wake of the countless warnings that he received, the PA leader did not change his ways.
Some of the documents that were released to the public in the past number of months are on public display at the Information Center for Intelligence and Terrorism, at the Intelligence Heritage Center, which is the official memorial site for the fallen intelligence operatives in Glilot that is directed by Maj. Gen. (Res.) Meir Amit. The intention is to establish a library with a computerized index of the Arafat documents, once they have been sifted through. A number of unique collections of seized documents are open to the public at the center.
What the Europeans Knew
The documents and raids demonstrated that quite a few European officials knew in real time what the Palestinians were doing. For example, the head of the German liaison office to the Palestinian Authority, Andreas Reinicke, approached Jibril Rajoub on March 5, 2002 and told him that armed Palestinian men had seized control of the Talithakumi school in Beit Jala, which is funded by the Protestant Church in Berlin. The school is situated on a ridge, and Palestinian gunmen fired from its surroundings on Israeli vehicles on the tunnel road. Reinike was afraid of an Israeli military response and asked Rajoub to help remove the gunmen. “The school is known and enjoys a high degree of respectability in Germany,” he wrote to Rajoub. “You cannot imagine what a ruckus would be raised… if it were to become known that the school grounds served as a battlefield.”
In the course of Operation Defensive Shield the IDF also entered the UNRWA office in the Jenin refugee camp. IDF Intelligence Branch officials who were present at the time of the raid discovered that the walls of the European director’s office were plastered with pictures of shahids from suicide terror attacks.
This article appeared in the weekend magazine of Yediot Aharonot, July 11-12, 2002