Interviewed on Hamas-owned Al-Aqsa TV channel, Hamas co-founder Mahmoud Al-Zahhar admitted that as the Camp David talks began to fall apart in July of 2000, Palestinian Authority leader Yasser Arafat supplied Hamas with the necessary weapons to attack Israel. Those Hamas terrorist attacks were a part of the Second Intifada which began in the autumn of 2000.
As the terrorist attacks of the intifada became more deadly, Arafat claimed he had nothing to do with violence and couldn’t make it stop. Al-Zahhar’s interview proves that Arafat was lying.
MEMRI translated the interview into English:
Mahmoud Al-Zahhar said that when Yasser Arafat reached the conclusion that the Camp David negotiations were futile, he provided weapons for Hamas to carry out operations. The interview aired on December 14, 2014.
Following are excerpts:
Mahmoud Al-Zahhar: From the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in 1994 until 2000, we were subject to repeated arrests. You would get out of one prison and go into another.[…]
Then, Abu Ammar [Arafat] reached the conclusion that the negotiations in Camp David were futile. He sent someone from the Preventive Security Force to Hamas, to Sheik Salah Shehade. The man said to Sheik Shehade: “We don’t mind if Hamas carries out operations.” When we discussed this, some of us said that these people [the PA] only wanted to expose our Unit 103, which was operating under the name of “Omar Al-Mukhtar,” so that they could snitch on them. These were the people who were involved in the security cooperation with Israel.
Others among us thought that we should take advantage of this opportunity, and carry out joint operations with [Fatah], or accept from them weapons that were known to be at their disposal, so that if they decided to snitch on us, they would be implicated as well. So we took weapons from them and carried out operations…
Interviewer: From whom?
Mahmoud Al-Zahhar: From Fatah here [in Gaza]. From the PA here. The RPGs… Some people were martyred… We took weapons from them and carried out operations, but then [the Israelis] said to Arafat: Listen, this is not what we brought you for. That is when Israel imposed the siege and re-occupied the West Bank, until it got rid of Arafat and…
Interviewer: Did Arafat mean to…
Mahmoud Al-Zahhar: Only God knows one’s intentions. Only God knows if he did this in order to improve his stance in the negotiations, or because he had undergone a real change.