(Communicated by the GPO)
The ISA and the IDF on 12 February 2004 arrested Raad Mansour (born in 1966, a resident of Kalil, near Nablus, father of 12, by three wives) and his son Dia Mansour.
Raad Mansour, an officer in the Palestinian Authority (PA) Police, served as a senior Tanzim-Fatah terrorist and a commander of the "Black Arms," one of the organization’s military wings, in the village of Kalil, near Nablus. He admitted that his activities were directed and guided by former PA Minister and current PA Legislative Council member Abdul Fatah Khamil, by senior Fatah member Hasin Al Sheikh, and by Hosam Shahin, who, prior to his arrest by Israel, had been appointed by Jibril Rajoub to liaise with various terrorists and supervise the transfer of funds.
It arises from the investigation of the Mansours that they were also involved with Hezbollah handlers in Lebanon. Raad Mansour has admitted to being involved in ramified military activities, including the recruitment of terrorists as well as the financing, arming and direction of terrorist attacks.
Five months after the beginning of the current round of Palestinian violence, Raad Mansour’s brother Majad established the "Black Arms" as a unit within the Tanzim, the base of which was in Kalil. Majad was killed in April 2002 in a clash with IDF troops in the old city of Nablus; Raad inherited his position as commander of the "Black Arms."
Raad Mansour told his investigators that since the establishment of the "Black Arms", Hasin Al Sheikh channeled $3,000 per month to the organization via the bank accounts of Majad Mansour and then of Raad Mansour. When Raad assumed command of the organization, Al Sheikh asked him to perpetrate terrorist attacks wherever possible and update him on them.
Raad Mansour also told his investigators that about two years ago, after Majad’s death, he attended a meeting with senior Tanzim terrorists, at which then PA Minister Abdul Fatah Khamil was present. The goal of the meeting was to establish Tanzim terror cells in the villages around Nablus. At Khamil’s behest, two cells were established: the "Villages Cell", headed by
Raad Mansour, and a similar cell in the Balata refugee camp. Khamil
ordered the cells to perpetrate terrorist attacks only in areas beyond the Green Line and not inside Israeli territory. The two cells were financed directly by Khamil and received a preliminary payment of $5,000 per member, and afterwards, regular payments of $3,000 per month. Until his arrest, Raad Mansour received a personal monthly salary of NIS 7,500 from Khamil.
Raad Mansour also explained that Khamil had asked him to gather a list of names of Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade fugitives so that the PA could transfer funds to them in order to cause them to become totally dependent on it. Accordingly, Raad formulated a list of Tanzim fugitives from various areas in Samaria. Raad added that as terrorists from various villages heard of these funds, they began to turn to him with requests that he help them to receive funds from Khamil in exchange for terrorist activity. With the funds that he received, Raad purchased AK-47’s for use in shooting attacks in the Nablus area.
The "Black Arms" has perpetrated various shooting, bomb and suicide attacks, including the 2 November 2000 suicide bombing of a Kfar Saba shopping mall in which two people were murdered and approximately 70 were wounded.
It must be pointed out that Abdul Fatah Khamil’s links with Tanzim terrorists were carried out in the framework of an official position – in charge of links with Fatah’s military wings – to which he had been appointed by the PA. He served in this official capacity until January 2004 when he was replaced by Hosam Shahin. From Shahin, Raad Mansour received a message from Jibril Rajoub to the effect that the flow of funds to the fugitives would continue as long as they didn’t receive funds from abroad.
It arises from the investigation of the Mansours that in October 2003, Dia Mansour contacted a Hezbollah operative and gave him his father Raad’s phone number. The Hezbollah operative contacted Raad and offered to transfer funds to him in order to assist in the perpetration of terrorist attacks. The Hezbollah operative transferred funds via the Mansours and also offered to assist in the procurement of weapons. After separating from his fiancee, Dia planned to dispatch her as a suicide terrorist, at her request; the Hezbollah operative promised to organize an explosive belt.