(Communicated by Israeli security sources)
April 12, 2002
Click to enlarge original document in Arabic (p.1)
Click to enlarge original document in Arabic (p.2)
In a document discovered in the course of Operation Defensive Shield, signed by Muhammad ‘Awies, an officer in the Palestinian General Intelligence, it emerges that officers in the Palestinian General Intelligence in the field had prior information about the Popular Front’s terrorist cell which later carried out the murder of the late Minister Rechavam Ze’evy. Officers in the General Intelligence who had information regarding the planned murder, did not take any steps to monitor the activities of the cell or to intercept its operations.
The lack of any steps taken against the cell enabled members of the Popular Front to carry out the assassination. These are the same terrorists which Arafat has been trying to protect for some time.
There are frequent cases in which the Palestinian security organs have information about terrorist terror cells operating in the field. Although it is their job to prevent terrorism, they chose to turn a blind eye. In these cases the terrorists are allowed to operate freely and carry out their attacks without fear or threat from the Palestinian security apparatus.
The following is a translation of the captured document:
"In the name of Allah the merciful and the compassionate
Re: Elimination of the (extremist) Israeli Minister of Tourism Rechavam Ze’evy
Location: Hyatt Regency Hotel / Jerusalem
Date: October 17, 2001
Implementing cell: Hamdi Ahmed Othman Kara’in of Beit Rima, Basel Abed Alrahman Alasmar of Beit Rima and Majdi Yusef Alrimawi of Beit Rima
This courageous action was not born out of thin air and its success was not achieved lightly. The cell was selected to carry out this task after close examination and collection of information about each of its members. The plan of action took shape after the assassination of our colleague Abu Ali Mustafa – the former secretary general of the Popular Front organization, who was assassinated in his office by the occupation forces on the morning of Monday August 26, 2001.
The assassination of Rechavam Ze’evy succeeded despite the considerable danger that accompanied every stage of its implementation. The action was carried out successfully and the target was eliminated within a very tight timetable – according to an announcement by the spokesman of the General Security Services of the Zionist enemy.
The success of the action sets a precedent in the framework of the struggle, since the victim was a ‘known personality’, especially within the radical right wing. The victim is the father of the concept of transfer, and his hatred for the Palestinians is so fierce that he hates his eyes for forcing him to see Palestinians and his ears for hearing the word Palestine. Imagine his feelings on hearing about the idea of the Palestinian state and the right of self-determination.
The elimination of Ze’evy dealt a mortal blow to radical Zionism and provided a fitting revenge for the assassination of the martyr Abu Ali Mustafa.
This brave action has brought great honor to the heroes who carried it out, despite the contradictory rumors from different sources about the perpetrators. The tale of this action will be talked about and retold many times in the Palestinian street and will be studied with pride by all those who love the homeland. Nothing can besmirch or damage the glorious name of this outstanding action.
The Palestinian street has suffered greatly and continues to suffer, especially during this difficult period in the history of our bitter struggle.
Sometimes we, the security forces, have no choice but to relate to and take into account the mood of the street. At the same time, sometimes we cannot escape a different view of events, especially in view of the fact that the information that we have is different from the information and rumors in the street.
The information we have is a result of the collection and analysis of intelligence about the figure of the fighter perpetrating the attack, the place of implementation, the political and social situation and so on. Despite all the above, it must be remembered that in practice what was carried out was the elimination of one of the greatest of extremists – Ze’evy.
Four months after the event, we have a great deal of information about the action from every aspect. After a considerable intelligence effort we are now in a position to relate to aspects of the action. The collection and concentration of this information enables us to analyze the action in an unbiased and objective manner, free of prejudice and rumor. We, the security service, had prior information before the action about the cell that carried it out and about the fact that the cell was on the brink of carrying out an attack, but we did not have information about the type of action or the details. The collection of information began before the action was carried out. Unfortunately, it was our own source who reported on the cell, and I will say it clearly, I am referring to the intelligence officers who are responsible for the Bani Zid area, they were not sufficiently responsible and did not act as they were expected to act as field intelligence officers. These officers obtained very important and dangerous information – a telephone conversation between an Israeli intelligence officer and the brother of one of Ze’evy’s killers.
The Bani Zid area intelligence officers made do with obtaining the information and did not continue to follow up the cell about which ‘Nayil’ confessed in his interrogation. The officers excused their failure with various different excuses, and as has sometime been said, "the excuse is worse than the act itself". They explained that they had not received an arrest order for the cell. This is at a time when the Israeli occupying forces are surrounding Beit Rima and every child in the street knows the identity of the perpetrators of the action.
The officers, merely adding to their crimes, continued with their excuses and explained that they made do with keeping the cell under supervision and that they had not received an instruction to arrest the members of the cell.
Our response to these claims is simple: you, as intelligence officers, are required to act with due consideration and not to wait until after the event takes place. You are required to be in full control of what is taking place and to supervise the cell closely until arrest orders are received.
The officers in the area were negligent in their supervision before the event and continued to be negligent after it. How did the cell members succeed in escaping from the Bani Zid area after two days? Their escape created considerable difficulty in continuing to supervise them and this problem continues to this day. As an intelligence officer you are required to act in every situation to collect information, even if it appears to you to be simple and without value. The intelligence officer must never sit and wait for information to reach him."
Handwritten annex of details regarding the chain of events:
Click to enlarge original document in Arabic
"After the assassination of the martyr Abu Ali Mustafa, a response began to be planned. Majdi Alrimawi, of the Popular Front, was the one who started to organize a cell to carry out the liquidation. Majdi instructed Hamdi Alkara’in to put together a cell to assassinate Rechavam Ze’evy. The cell was equipped with information in order to carry out the assassination. The information included details about Ze’evy’s movements and about the places where he was to be found. For the purposes of the mission Hamdi collected Basel Alasmar and Muhammad Alrimawi. Hamdi himself determined the place where the attack on Ze’evy would be carried out. The place chosen was the Hyatt Regency Hotel.
The action was indeed carried out and in the course of it Hamdi killed Ze’evy. Basel was with him and served as his bodyguard. Muhammad waited for the two of them outside the hotel in a car and the plan was to escape to Ramallah after carrying out the assassination. A problem with the escape vehicle caused the group to change their plan. Because of the breakdown after carrying out the action they went to the home of Salah Alui in Alazariya. Salah is an old friend of Hamdi’s.
Later the cell was uncovered by the Israelis. Muhammad Alrimawi was arrested, but the two other members of the cell – Hamdi Alrimawi and Basel Alasmar, escaped to Bethlehem.
Lieutenant Muhammad Awies"
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