Jerusalem, 26 May 2002

Senior Fatah operative in Lebanon directed and financed terror attacks in Israel and the territories
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

ISA questioning of senior Fatah operatives from Samaria have revealed that Monir Makdeikh, a senior Fatah militant in Lebanon, directed and financed major attacks against Israeli citizens during the course of the current wave of Palestinian violence.

Nasser Aweis, one of the senior Fatah figures in Samaria, and Jemal Ahwil, one of the senior Fatah figures in Jenin, who were arrested during operation Defensive Shield, told during questioning of their connections with Monir Makdeikh who directed and funded Fatah organizations in the territories which perpetrated many attacks against Israeli citizens. Monir worked in conjunction with two main Samaria organizations, one in Nablus and one in Jenin.

Nasser Aweis, who operated out of Nablus, revealed during questioning that the connection between himself and Monir begin halfway through 2001 when Monir approached him and told him that he was interested in giving him financial aid in order to commit shooting and bombing attacks. The funds was transferred by Monir in Lebanon to a bank account in Nablus that was opened especially for this purpose. The money was used for daily expenses, and for the purchase of weapons and raw materials for preparing bombs. Awis stated that he received 40-50 thousand dollars through the bank account for the purpose of financing his activities.

Nasser added that the communications between the two was by regular telephone calls, and Nasser would report by telephone on every attack that he was responsible for. Thus he reported to Monir on shooting attacks committed in the Nablus region, and bombings and suicide attacks inside Israel such as the attack on the banquet hall in Hadera in January 2002 which resulted in the deaths of six Israeli civilians and the shooting attack in Jerusalem on January 22, 2002 in which two Israeli civilians were killed. After the attacks inside Israel Monir encouraged Aweis to continue the attacks, and most of the funds used to finance the activities came from Monir from this point on. A number of months before Aweis’ arrest, Monir inquired as to the possibility of sending one of his men to perpetrate a suicide attack in Israel.

Jemal Ahwil also said during questioning that Monir Makdeikh transferred money to him to fund his military activities. Monir would transfer funds to Nasser Aweis’ bank account which would then be forwarded to Jemal. Jemal stated that he received 5000 dollars a month from Monir.

Jemal also stated that he reported to Monir on the attacks committed by the al Aksa Martyrs Brigade, including the following:
The attack perpetrated on December 27, 2001 in Afula in which two Israeli civilians were killed and dozens wounded; the shooting attack committed on June 28, 2001 on the Jenin bypass road in which an Israeli woman was killed; and the attack which took place on October 4, 2001 in the Afula central bus station where three Israeli civilians were killed.

From the details provided by the senior Fatah operatives from Samaria during questioning, a clear and comprehensive picture has emerged regarding Monir Makdeikh’s involvement, from his base in Lebanon, in terror activities directed by the Fatah from inside the West Bank. Monir transferred large amounts of money for the purpose of funding attacks perpetrated in the territories, and within Israel, that resulted in the deaths of many Israeli citizens. Furthermore, Monir was kept appraised of the attacks and personally encouraged the terrorists to continue these activities. The arrest of Monir’s senior liaison people in the territories has aided in the prevention of the growing involvement of Monir in the financing and directing of terror activity in Israel.