Wednesday 14 July 2004

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 attacks on civilians of their own countries are being heard with increasing frequency.

"You know who is behind these acts," Yassir Arafat told reporters at his Ramallah compound following Sunday’s terror attack in Tel Aviv, which killed 19-year-old Maayan Na’im and wounded close to 30. "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 speared on official PA television saying, "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. " 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 for which Arafat repeatedly blames Israel]. Who stands behind Beit Lid, who murdered [the late tourism minister Rechavam] Zeevi, who is behind Zeevi..[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 Qadder, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and a leader of Fatah,told the Arab news site, Al Bawaba, that, “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 Court’s 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."

Al Bawaba also interviewed a man named ‘Nidal’, a terrorist leader of the Al Aqsa Brigades in Jenin. "We are very happy with the International Court of Justice’s ruling,” said Nidal, “but things are different when it comes to attacks…the timing is decided by the field leaders. We strongly refuse to link our activities with Palestinian political maneuvers. If we were to choose the timing of every operation then many things would have been different," added Nidal.

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