Jerusalem, 12 February 2002

Impounded Documents Reveal Palestinian Preventative Security Services Involvement in Terrorism
(Communicated by Israeli Security Sources)

Documents impounded from the offices of the Palestinian Preventive Security Services (PPSS) in Gaza during the recent Operation Guardian Fortress, along with information gleaned from the questioning of a PPSS officer, Yusuf Makdoud, reveal that the PPSS has been financing and operating an extensive underground terrorist weapons manufacturing infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.

Arrested PPSS officer Yusuf Makdoud disclosed that he was recruited in September 2001 by PPSS Captain Nabil Hadhoud, in order to take part in the clandestine production of terrorist weapons. Mukdoud’s first assignment in the PPSS was to serve as a courier for money transferred from Hadhoud to "Abu Tarad" (Talal Muhisan), a key figure in the PPSS underground arms production industry. It was learned that this money served as payment to the different workshops involved in clandestine weapons manufacturing.

Further evidence of the PPSS illegal arms operations was reveal in impounded documents, discovered in the PPSS headquarters during recent IDF operations in Gaza. The documents include receipts of complex monetary transfers which detail PPSS involvement in the mass production and procurement of terrorist weapons. Key figures involved in the process were also identified.

One highly visible figure mentioned in the documents is Atef Ragheb Fares Bakhir, the head of the Palestinian "Fisherman’s Commission" in the Gaza Strip, and a Colonel in Arafat’s "Force 17" Presidential bodyguard unit.

The impounded documents and receipts detail the transfer of hundreds of thousands of dollars from the PPSS to Bakhir during the years of 1996-1998. Some of the documents definitively indicate that the funding was intended for the purchase of terrorist weapons. The impounded documents also expose the link between Bakhir and "Abu Tarad."

The following is a description of some of the relevant documents:

  • Receipt 4401 details the transfer of $150,000 from the PPSS to Bakhir on November 19, 1996. Together with this receipt were found additional receipts for monetary transfers of 160,000 NIS (about $33,000), 164,000 NIS (about $34,000) and 50,000 NIS (about $11,000), to additional operatives, executed by Majd Abu Shumaleh, assistant head of PPSS operations.
  • A note on PPSS letterhead indicates that $50,000 and $80,000 were intended for Bakhir, and another $90,000 was intended for a second operative. Together with this note, another document was discovered containing a proposal for the establishment of a terrorist weapons workshop that would produce between 400-500 mortar bombs per month.
  • A ledger detailing expenditures by Bakhir of $50,000 was also discovered and impounded. The chart records Bakhir’s transfer of funds including sums transferred to Abu Tarad for the purchase of "materiel" and "rifles."
  • Receipts indicating the transfer of substantial funds from PPSS intelligence to Abu Tarad and his "factory" were also found. The funds were transferred to Tarad by PPSS Inspector General, Samir Masharawi, through Mahmud Faraj, who is in charge of the Karni Crossing for the PPSS and is considered to be a close associate of Abu Tarad.
  • Additional expenditure ledgers were also found detailing the transfer of funds from "Abu Hatem" (Rashid Abu Shubak – Deputy to Gaza PPSS Chief Muhammad Dahlan) to Abu Tarad. Hatem transferred funds directly to Tarad, as well as to his "factory."
  • An impounded PPSS receipt book from 2002 also reveal receipts for expenditures of $800 for "rent" and personal expenses, paid to Abu Tarad.
  • Also discovered was a PPSS 2002 receipt book from 2002, which detailed the ongoing transfer of money to Nabil Hadhoud allegedly for "salaries", while in actuality the funds were used to finance the weapons factory infrastructure of the PPSS.