A document discovered this week by Israeli forces searching the offices of Fuad Shubaki, chief financial officer for the Palestinian Authority, shows a direct connection between the PA and terrorist attacks against Israelis, including suicide bombings, IDF officers said.
"This is an invoice for terror," said Col. Miri Eisin of the IDF's Intelligence Corps at a press conference held on Tuesday. The document presented to reporters was a request by the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, a terrorist offshoot of PA Chairman Yasser Arafat's Fatah Movement, for additional funding for chemical supplies, used in the production of explosive charges and bombs, and for ammunition for automatic rifles.
According to the document, dated September 16, 2001, the major expense of the militants was the components for the explosives. "We need about five to nine bombs a week for our cells in various areas," the document said, listing the cost of each bomb at 700 shekels ($147). Additional funds were required for bullets for Kalashnikov and M-16 rifles. "We require this ammunition on a daily basis," the document said.
The letter was addressed to Shubaki, who allegedly helped finance and organize the Karine A shipment of weapons to the Palestinian Authority, which was seized by Israeli forces in January. Israel had demanded Shubaki's arrest; he is believed to be with Arafat in his besieged Ramallah compound.
"What we have here for the first time is a document which connects directly those responsible for terrorist activity and their requesting the money from an official person within the Palestinian Authority, and not just any person, but Shubaki," Eisin said.
The document also listed debts owed to al-Aqsa for terror attacks already perpetrated. On the side of the document were handwritten comments and calculations, apparently listed by Shubaki, himself. Eisin said that it was unclear if the money had been transferred from the PA to the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade.
Eisin stressed that since the document was written in September, members of al-Aqsa had perpetrated eight suicide bombings against Israelis.
"We hold Yasser Arafat personally responsible for the violence the people of Israel are facing and this invoice of terror is further proof of the charge that the government of Israel has made against Yasser Arafat," said Dore Gold, Sharon's foreign policy adviser and former Israeli ambassador to the UN.
Also seized in Shubaki's office were hundreds of thousands of counterfeit Israeli shekels, which the IDF believes was to be used to purchase explosives and ammunition. Palestinian officials said the counterfeit money had been seized by Palestinian Preventive Security forces from Palestinian criminals who had collaborated with Israeli felons, Ha'aretz reported.
Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said he had not seen the documents produced by the IDF. He charged that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon "has asked everyone to help with his public relations campaign and the Israelis are very busy fabricating things."
An Associated Presse report said the document detailed "costs regarding the request of money for memorial services for Al Aqsa members, printing posters, various electrical components, chemical supplies and ammunition for automatic rifles, among other requests." The AP report did not explain how the electrical components and chemicals were to be used with the Palestinians' automatic rifles.
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