By Zvi Harel and Moshe Reinfeld, April 8, 2003
“When [Palestinian Authority Chairman] Yasser Arafat wanted a cease-fire, he
would say so, and when he remained silent, it was understood as a green light
to continue terror attacks,” according to statements by Marwan Barghouti that
were made public Monday.
The Tanzim leader also said Arafat never asked him directly to carry out attacks.
The comments came from a transcript of Barghouti’s April 29, 2002 Shin Bet
interrogation, portions of which were released for publication Monday by the
Tel Aviv District Court.
According to Barghouti’s remarks during the interrogation, he had ties with
Nasser Awis, the senior Fatah military activist in Nablus, who was responsible
for dispatching cells that carried out attacks against Israelis.
According to Barghouti, Awis asked him for financial assistance for
terror activities. Barghouti said during the interrogation that on a number of
occasions, he gave Awis close to NIS 20,000. Barghouti obtained the money
through requests to Arafat. He went on to say that the money was transferred
to Awis through a go-between.
According to the transcripts, when asking Arafat for money, Barghouti did not
say for what purposes the money would be used, but wrote the name of the
militant, the desired amount, and wrote that his opinion was that the money
should be approved.
Barghouti also said in his interrogation that in the past two years, he felt that
only armed resistance that caused pain to Israel would advance the peace.
One interrogator noted that, “Barghouti explained that only through the agony
of terror attacks would Israelis understand what they have to lose, which would
lead them to relinquish their tough stance.”
As he has done previously in the courtroom, Barghouti announced at the
beginning of the evidence phase that he does not recognize the court, called
the trial a “show,” and said, “Occupation is terror.”
Barghouti is charged with violating seven provisions of the penal law, including
membership in a terrorist organization, activity in a terrorist organization,
murder, complicity to murder, solicitation to murder, attempted murder and
conspiracy to commit a felony.