Members of the media are focusing much attention on Yasir Arafat’s legacy. Many of the historical briefs and timelines being published whitewash his decades-long involvement in terrorism. While they note that Arafat led Fatah and the PLO, the terrorist acts committed by these groups are often ignored.
For example, a Nov. 4 AP timeline, reproduced in the publications and Web sites of many different media outlets, lists only one failed act of sabotage in 1965, 3 suicide bombings in December of 2001 and one in 2002.
In fact, groups under Arafat’s direct or indirect command – including Fatah, Black September, Tanzim and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade – were responsible for hundreds of bombings, hijackings, assassinations and other attacks, including the 1972 murder of 11 of Israel’s Olympic athletes in Munich, the 1973 murder of the American ambassador to Sudan, Cleo Noel, and the 1985 hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruiseship (resulting in the murder of wheelchair-bound Leon Klinghoffer).
The AP timeline instead highlights Israel’s anti-PLO actions without providing the reason – decades of terrorist attacks against innocent civilians. Not only is the PLO’s history of international hijackings, kidnappings and child murders ignored, the terrorist organization and Arafat’s leadership of it are actually praised:
Feb. 4, 1969: Arafat takes over PLO chairmanship, transforms it into a dynamic force that makes Palestinian cause known worldwide.
A Knight-Ridder/Tribune timeline of Arafat’s life that appeared in Newsday only mentions terror once, in 2001: “Blamed for not controlling terrorist attacks on Israel by Hamas, other radicals.” Typical of many of the flawed timelines, it implies only that Arafat failed to control terror, not that he was actively involved in funding and supporting it.
In order to report on Arafat’s history objectively, one must include his decades-long involvement in terror, his goal of destroying Israel, and his siphoning of hundreds of millions of dollars from money donated to help the Palestinian people that went instead into his own private accounts.
Yasir Arafat is known to many as the “father of modern terrorism.” Below is a timeline of some of the key events of his life and terrorist acts with which he was associated. (prepared by www.camera.org)
Key Events in Yasir Arafat’s Terrorist Career
– Aug 4, 1929: Born in Cairo. Arafat, then named Muhammad Abdel Rahman Abdel Rauf al-Qudwa al-Husseini, is fifth child of prosperous merchant, Abdel Raouf al-Qudwa al-Husseini.
– 1933: Arafat’s mother dies. He and his infant brother are sent to live with uncle in Jerusalem.
– Late 1950’s: Arafat co-founds Fatah, the “Movement for the National Liberation of Palestine.”
– Jan. 1, 1965: Fatah fails in its first attempted attack within Israel — the bombing of the National Water Carrier.
– July 5, 1965: A Fatah cell plants explosives at Mitzpe Massua, near Beit Guvrin; and on the railroad tracks to Jerusalem near Kafr Battir.
– 1965-1967: Numerous Fatah bomb attacks target Israeli villages, water pipes, railroads. Homes are destroyed and Israelis are killed.
– July 1968: Fatah joins and becomes the dominant member of the PLO, an umbrella organization of Palestinian terrorist groups.
– Feb. 4, 1969: Arafat is appointed Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO
– Feb. 21, 1970: SwissAir flight 330, bound for Tel Aviv, is bombed in mid-flight by PFLP, a PLO member group. 47 people are killed.
– May 8, 1970: PLO terrorists attack an Israeli schoolbus with bazooka fire, killing nine pupils and three teachers from Moshav Avivim
– Sept. 6, 1970: TWA, Pan-Am, and BOAC airplanes are hijacked by PLO terrorists.
– September 1970: Jordanian forces battle the PLO terrorist organization, driving its members out of Jordan after the group’s violent activity threatens to destabilize the kingdom. The terrorists flee to Lebanon. This period in PLO history is called “Black September.”
– May 1972: PFLP, part of the PLO, dispatches members of the Japanese Red Army to attack Lod Airport in Tel Aviv, killing 27 people.
– Sept. 5, 1972: Munich Massacre —11 Israeli athletes are murdered at the Munich Olympics by a group calling themselves “Black September,”said to be an arm of Fatah, operating under Arafat’s direct command.
– March 1, 1973: Palestinian terrorists take over Saudi embassy in Khartoum. The next day, two Americans –including the United States’ ambassador to Sudan, Cleo Noel – and a Belgian were shot and killed. James J. Welsh, an analyst for the National Security Agency from 1969 through 1974, charged Arafat with direct complicity in these murders.
– April 11, 1974: 11 people are killed by Palestinian terrorists who attack apartment building in Kiryat Shmona.
– May 15, 1974: PLO terrorists infiltrating from Lebanon hold children hostage in Ma’alot school. 26 people, 21 of them children, are killed.
– June 9, 1974: Palestinian National Council adopts “Phased Plan,” which calls for the establishment of a Palestinian state on any territory evacuated by Israel, to be used as a base of operations for destroying the whole of Israel. The PLO reaffirms its rejection of United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, which calls for a “just and lasting peace” and the “right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.”
– November 1974: PLO takes responsibility for the PDFLP’s Beit She’an murders in which 4 Israelis are killed.
– Nov. 13, 1974: Arafat, wearing a holster (he had to leave his gun at the entrance), addresses the U.N. General Assembly.
– March 1975: Members of Fatah attack the Tel Aviv seafront and take hostages in the Savoy hotel. Three soldiers, three civilians and seven terrorists are killed.
– March 1978: Coastal Road Massacre —Fatah terrorists take over a bus on the Haifa-Tel Aviv highway and kill 21 Israelis.
– 1982: Having created a terrorist mini-state in Lebanon destabilizing that nation, PLO is expelled as a result of Israel’s response to incessant PLO missile attacks against northern Israeli communities. Arafat relocates to Tunis.
– Oct. 7, 1985: Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro is hijacked by Palestinian terrorists. Wheelchair-bound elderly man, Leon Klinghoffer, was shot and thrown overboard. Intelligence reports note that instructions originated from Arafat’s headquarters in Tunis.
– Dec. 12, 1988: Arafat claims to accept Israel’s right to exist.
– September 1993: Arafat shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Rabin, inaugurating the Oslo Accords. Arafat pledges to stop incitement and terror, and to foster co-existence with Israel, but fails to comply. Throughout the years of negotiations, aside from passing, token efforts, Arafat does nothing to stop Hamas, PFLP, and Islamic Jihad from carrying out thousands of terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians. With Arafat’s encouragement and financial support, groups directly under Arafat’s command, such as the Tanzim and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, also carry out terror attacks.
– Oct. 21, 1996: Speaking at a rally near Bethlehem, Arafat said “We know only one word – jihad. jihad, jihad, jihad. Whoever does not like it can drink from the Dead Sea or from the Sea of Gaza.” (Yediot Ahronot, October 23, 1996)
– April 16, 1998: In a statement published in the official Palestinian Authority newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda, Arafat is quoted: “O my dear ones on the occupied lands, relatives and friends throughout Palestine and the diaspora, my colleagues in struggle and in arms, my colleagues in struggle and in jihad…Intensify the revolution and the blessed intifada…We must burn the ground under the feet of the invaders.”
– July 2000: Arafat rejects peace settlement offered by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, which would have led to a Palestinian state.
– September 2000: New “intifada” is launched. Arafat continues to incite, support and fund terrorism.
– Jan. 3, 2002: Israelis intercept the Karine-A, a ship loaded with 50 tons of mortars, rocket launchers, anti-tank mines and other weapons intended for the Palestinian war against the Israelis. The captain admits he was under the command of the Palestinian Authority.
– September 2003: IMF report titled “Economic Performance and Reforms under Conflict Conditions,” states that Arafat has diverted $900 million of public PA funds into his own accounts from 1995 – 2000.
Below are some of the attacks since Sept 2000 perpetrated by groups under Arafat’s command:
– May 29, 2001: Gilad Zar, an Itamar resident, was shot dead in a terrorist ambush by Fatah Tanzim.
– May 29, 2001: Sara Blaustein, 53, and Esther Alvan, 20, of Efrat, were killed in a drive-by shooting south of Jerusalem. The Fatah Tanzim claimed responsibility for the attack.
– June 18, 2001: Doron Zisserman, 38, shot and killed in his car by Fatah sniper fire.
– Aug 26, 2001: Dov Rosman, 58, killed in a shooting attack by Fatah terrorist.
– Sept 6, 2001: Erez Merhavi, 23, killed in a Fatah Tanzim ambush shooting near Hadera while driving to a wedding.
– Sept 20, 2001: Sarit Amrani, 26, killed by Fatah terrorist snipers as she was traveling in a car with her husband and 3 children.
– Oct 4, 2001: 3 killed, 13 wounded, when a Fatah terrorist, dressed as an Israeli paratrooper, opened fire on Israeli civilians waiting at the central bus station in Afula.
– Nov 27, 2001 – 2 killed 50 injured when two Palestinian terrorists opened fire with Kalashnikov assault rifles on a crowd of people near the central bus station in Afula. Fatah and the Islamic Jihad claimed joint responsibility.
– Nov 29, 2001: 3 killed and 9 wounded in a suicide bombing on an Egged 823 bus en route from Nazereth to Tel Aviv near the city of Hadera. The Islamic Jihad and Fatah claimed responsibility for the attack.
– Dec 12, 2001 – 11 killed and 30 wounded when three terrorists attacked a bus and several passenger cars with a roadside bomb, anti-tank grenades, and light arms fire near the entrance to Emmanuel in Samaria . Both Fatah and Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.
– Jan 15, 2002: Avi Boaz, 71, an American citizen, was kidnapped at a PA security checkpoint in Beit Jala. His bullet-riddled body was found in a car near Bethlehem. The Fatah’s Al-Aksa Brigade claimed responsibility for the murder.
– Jan 15, 2002: Yoela Chen, 45, was shot dead by an Al Aqsa Brigade terrorist
– Jan 17, 2002: 6 killed, 35 wounded when a Fatah terrorist burst into a bat mitzva reception in a banquet hall in Hadera opening fire with an M-16 assault rifle.
– Jan 22, 2002: 2 killed, 40 injured when a Fatah terrorist opened fire with an M-16 assault rifle near a bus stop in downtown Jerusalem.
– Jan. 27, 2002: One person was killed and more than 150 were wounded by a female Fatah suicide bomber in the center of Jerusalem.
– Feb 6, 2002 – A mother and her 11 year old daughter were murdered in their home by a Palestinian terrorist disguised in an IDF uniform. Both Fatah and Hamas claimed responsibility.
– Feb 18, 2002 : – Ahuva Amergi, 30, was killed and a 60-year old man was injured when a Palestinian terrorist opened fire on her car. Maj. Mor Elraz, 25, and St.-Sgt. Amir Mansouri, 21, who came to their assistance, were killed while trying to intercept the terrorist. The terrorist was killed when the explosives he was carrying were detonated. The Fatah al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack.
– Feb 22, 2002: Valery Ahmir, 59, was killed by terrorists in a Fatah drive-by shooting north of Jerusalem as he returned home from work.
– Feb 25, 2002: Avraham Fish, 65, and Aharon Gorov, 46, were killed in a Fatah terrorist shooting attack south of Bethlehem. Fish’s daughter, 9 months pregnant, was seriously injured but delivered a baby girl.
– Feb 25, 2002: Police officer 1st Sgt. Galit Arbiv, 21, died after being fatally shot, when a Fatah terrorist opened fire at a bus stop in the Neve Ya’akov residential neighbhorhood in northern Jerusalem. Eight others were injured.
– Feb 27, 2002: Gad Rejwan, 34, of Jerusalem, was shot and killed by one of his Palestinian employees in a factory north of Jerusalem. Two Fatah groups issued a joint statement taking responsibility for the murder.
– March 2, 2002: A suicide bombing by Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Jerusalem killed 11 people and injured more than 50.
– Mar 5, 2002: 3 were killed and over 30 people were wounded in Tel-Aviv when a Fatah terrorist opened fire on two adjacent restaurants shortly after 2:00 AM.
– Mar 5, 2002: Devorah Friedman, 45, of Efrat, was killed and her husband injured in a Fatah shooting attack on the Bethlehem bypass “tunnel road”, south of Jerusalem.
– Mar 9, 2002: Avia Malka, 9 months, and Israel Yihye, 27, were killed and about 50 people were injured when two Fatah terrorists opened fire and threw grenades at cars and pedestrians in the coastal city of Netanya on Saturday evening, close to the city’s boardwalk and hotels.
–March 21, 2002: An Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade suicide bomber exploded himself in a crowd of shoppers in Jerusalem, killing 3 and injuring 86.
– March 29, 2002: Two killed and 28 injured when a female Fatah suicide bomber blew herself up in a Jerusalem supermarket.
– March 30, 2002: One killed and 30 injured in an Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade suicide bombing in Tel Aviv.
– April 12, 2002: Six killed and 104 wounded when a female Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade suicide bomber blew herself up at a bus stop on Jaffa road at the entrance to Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda open-air market.
– May 27, 2002: Ruth Peled, 56, of Herzliya and her infant granddaughter, aged 14 months, were killed and 37 people were injured when a Fatah suicide bomber detonated himself near an ice cream parlor outside a shopping mall in Petah Tikva.
– May 28, 2002 – Albert Maloul, 50, of Jerusalem, was killed when shots were fired by Fatah terrorists at the car in which he was traveling south on the Ramallah bypass road.
– May 28, 2002 – Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade terrorists killed Netanel Riachi, 17, Gilad Stiglitz, 14, and Avraham Siton, 17, three yeshiva high school students playing basketball.
– June 19, 2002: Seven people were killed and 37 injured when a Fatah suicide bomber blew himself up at a crowded bus stop and hitchhiking post in the French Hill neighborhood of Jerusalem.
– June 20, 2002: Rachel Shabo, 40, and three of her sons – Neria, 16, Zvika, 12, and Avishai, 5 – as well as a neighbor, Yosef Twito, 31, who came to their aid, were murdered when a terrorist entered their home in Itamar, south of Nablus, and opened fire. Two other children were injured, as well as two soldiers. The PFLP and the Fatah Al Aqsa Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack.
– July 25, 2002: Rabbi Elimelech Shapira, 43, was killed in a Fatah shooting attack near the West Bank community of Alei Zahav.
– July 26, 2002: St.-Sgt. Elazar Lebovitch, 21, of Hebron; Rabbi Yosef Dikstein, 45, of Psagot, his wife Hannah, 42, and their 9-year-old son Shuv’el Zion were killed in a Fatah Al Aqsa Brigade shooting attack south of Hebron. Two other of their children were injured. – July 30, 2002: Shlomo Odesser, 60, and his brother Mordechai, 52, both of Tapuach in Samaria, were shot and killed when their truck came under Fatah fire in the West Bank village of Jama’in.
– Aug 4, 2002: 2 killed and 17 wounded when a Fatah terrorist opened fire with a pistol near the Damascus Gate of Jerusalem’s Old City.
– Aug 5, 2002: Avi Wolanski (29) and his wife Avital (27), of Eli, were killed and one of their children, aged 3, was injured when terrorists opened fire on their car as they were traveling on the Ramallah-Nablus road in Samaria. The Martyrs of the Palestinian Popular Army, a splinter group associated with Arafat’s Fatah movement, claimed responsibility for the attack.
– Aug 10, 2002: Yafit Herenstein, 31, of Moshav Mechora in the Jordan Valley, was killed and her husband, Arno, seriously wounded when a Fatah terrorist infiltrated the moshav and opened fire outside their home.
– Sept 18, 2002: Yosef Ajami, 36, was killed when Fatah terrorists opened fire on his car near Mevo Dotan, north of Jenin in the West Bank.
– Oct 29, 2002: Three people, including 2 fourteen year olds, were shot to death by a Fatah terrorist.
— Nov 10, 2002: Revital Ohayon, 34, and her two sons, Matan, 5, and Noam, 4, as well as Yitzhak Dori, 44 – all of Kibbutz Metzer – and Tirza Damari, 42, were killed when a Fatah terrorist infiltrated the kibbutz, located east of Hadera near the Green Line, and opened fire.
– Nov 28, 2002: 5 killed and 40 wounded when two Fatah terrorists opened fire and threw grenades at the Likud polling station in Beit She’an, near the central bus station, where party members were casting their votes in the Likud primary.
– Apr 24, 2003 – 1 was killed and 13 were wounded in a suicide bombing outside the train station in Kfar Sava. Groups related to the Fatah al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and the PFLP clamied joint responsibility for the attack.
– May 5, 2003 – Gideon Lichterman, 27, was killed and two other passengers, his six-year-old daughter Moriah and a reserve soldier, were seriously wounded when Fatah terrorists fired shots at their vehicle in Samaria.
– May 19, 2003: 3 were killed and 70 were wounded in a suicide bombing at the entrance to the Amakim Mall in Afula. The Islamic Jihad and the Fatah al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades both claimed responsibility for the attack.
– Aug 29, 2003: Shalom Har-Melekh, 25, was killed in a Fatah shooting attack while driving northeast of Ramallah. His wife, Limor, who was seven months pregnant, sustained moderate injuries, and gave birth to a baby girl by Caesarean section.
– Jan 29, 2004: 11 people were killed and over 50 wounded in a suicide bombing of an Egged bus no. 19 at the corner of Gaza and Arlozorov streets in Jerusalem. Both the Fatah-related Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades and Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.
– Mar 14, 2004: 10 were killed and 16 wounded in a double suicide bombing at Ashdod Port. Hamas and Fatah claimed responsibility for the attack.
– May 2, 2004: Tali Hatuel, 34, and her daughters – Hila, 11, Hadar, 9, Roni, 7, and Merav, 2 – of Katif in the Gaza Strip were killed when two Palestinian terrorists fired on an Israeli car at the entrance to the Gaza Strip settlement bloc of Gush Katif. Fatah and Islamic Jihad claimed joint responsibility for the attack.