Khaled Abu Toameh
Hudson New York
01 October '10
Former Palestinian President, Yasser Arafat, who won the Nobel Peace prize, fooled all of the people all of the time.
Mahmoud Zahar, a prominent Hamas leader, has just revealed that Yasser Arafat, when he failed to get what he wanted at the negotiating table, instructed Hamas to launch terror attacks in the heart of Israel. Hamas obviously took Arafat's orders seriously, waging an unprecedented campaign of suicide booming and terror attacks that killed and injured thousands of Jews and Arabs.
When Arafat reportedly unleashed Hamas's terrorists against Israel, both he and the Palestinian Authority were still on the payroll of the international community, first and foremost the Americans and Europeans.
Arafat pretended back then that he was doing his utmost to stop the terror attacks that were launched not only by Hamas, but also by members of his own ruling Fatah faction. It now appears - from what Zahar has to say - that Arafat was bluntly lying to Israel and the Western donors.
What is interesting is that Zahar's revelations about Arafat's role in the terror campaign come at a time when the Palestinian and Hamas have resumed efforts to end their differences and achieve "national unity."
Does this rapprochement mean that Arafat's successor, Mahmoud Abbas, is planning to use Hamas again against Israel if the Palestinians don't get all what they want through direct and indirect talks? Some of the Palestinians who are negotiating with Israel these days were very close to Arafat back then; it is highly likely that they knew about his instructions to Hamas. Nabil Sha'ath, Saeb Erekat and Yasser Abed Rabbo were among Arafat's inner circle of advisors and confidants.
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