Nabil Sha’ath: Assassins of Former Israeli Minister Belong to Palestinian-Israeli “Mafia”
Palestinian Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Dr. Nabil Sh’ath, said in an interview to Saudi newspaper A-Sharq al-Awsast, that the murderers of former Israeli Minister of Tourism, Rechavam Ze’evi, belong to “the Palestinian-Israeli Mafia” and were recruited by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
He added that all the suspects in the former minister’s murder are collaborators with Israel.
Former Israeli Minister of Tourism, an extreme rightest, who favored forcing millions of Arabs to leave Palestine was shot to death outside his Jerusalem hotel room on October 17, 2001, by more than one assassin.
The PFLP then took responsibility for the murder and said it was done to avenge Israel’s assasination of its leader, Abu Ali Mustafa, on August 27 that year.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has recently declared that as long as he was to be in power, Yasser Arafat would not be allowed to leave the West Bank city of Ramallah, until he arrested the assassins of Ze’evi.
Regarding the weapons smuggling ship, seized in the Red Sea on January 3 by Israeli commandos, Dr. Sh’ath stated that there is no need to smuggle weapons through the Red Sea when “the Israeli Army was selling weapons to Palestinian groups”, and Israeli smugglers were prepared to supply any kind of weapons to anyone requesting them.
The Karine-A vessel carrying weapons was intended, according to Israeli sources, for the Palestinian Authority. Israel Army Chief of Staff, Saul Mofaz, announced the ship’s capture on January 4 and stated that it was carrying more than 50 tons of weaponry and ammunition, including Katyusha rockets, rifles, mortar shells, mines and anti-tank missiles. Mofaz added that the connection between the Palestinian Authority and the smuggling operation is “clear and undeniable”.
Israel has maintained its accusations claiming that Palestinian President Arafat and the Palestinian Authority were behind the Karine-A operation, which it said was bound for Palestinian areas.
The Palestinians have continuously denied the allegations. In addition, they have set up an investigative committee in the matter. Arafat has said that if anyone were to be found linked to the incident, he would be punished.
The Palestinian Authority has thus far, arrested one member of the Palestinian security forces for taking part in the weapons smuggling-ship affair, according to Nabil Amr, a close adviser to Palestinian President Yasser Arafat.
The United States has called on President Yasser Arafat to provide an explanation for the arms shipment. (Albawaba.com)