VII. THE ROLE OF THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY
One of the most contested questions in the debate about Palestinian suicide attacks on Israeli civilians is what, if any, role has been played by the Palestinian Authority and specifically, President Arafat. Israel charges that the PA has ordered and systematically participated in "terror," a term it applies to all armed activity against Israeli targets, whether military or civilian. It holds the PA responsible every time an attack occurs. The PA denies having any role in attacks against civilians.
The PA, under the terms of the Oslo Accords, assumed law enforcement responsibilities for those areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip under its control-namely, the major cities and Palestinian population clusters, amounting at the time of the outbreak of clashes in September 2000 to approximately 26 percent of the West Bank and 60 percent of the Gaza Strip.62 The PA thus has had an obligation to take all available and effective measures consistent with international human rights and humanitarian law to prevent suicide or other attacks against civilians by the armed groups operating from these areas.
Human Rights Watch found that there were steps that the PA could have taken to prevent or deter such attacks, but that it remained unwilling to risk the political cost of acting decisively. The PA routinely failed to investigate, arrest and prosecute persons believed to be responsible for these attacks, and did not take credible steps to reprimand, discipline, or bring to justice those members of its own security services who, in violation of declared PA policy, participated in such attacks. In addition, although President Arafat repeatedly condemned suicide attacks against civilians, he consistently failed to insist that terms of honor and respect such as "martyr"-which Palestinians use to designate persons who have died or suffered grave loss in clashes with Israeli forces or settlers-should not apply to people who die in the course of carrying out indiscriminate attacks against civilians.
Moreover, President Arafat and other senior officials authorized payments, in several cases, to individuals who were known to have participated in attacks on Israeli civilians in the Occupied Territories and, more commonly, without apparent regard for the known or alleged involvement of the recipients in attacks on civilians. As discussed above, President Arafat and the PA also took no steps to ensure that welfare payments from the PA and others did not privilege the families of suicide bombers who attacked civilians. Indeed, one document made public by the Israeli government, hereafter referred to as the "memo to Tirawi," suggests that at least one senior PA intelligence official may have had a positive view of people who carry out attacks on civilians.63
The PA's failure to act in an effective and consistent manner against Palestinian attacks on civilians contributed to an atmosphere of impunity, allowing the armed groups to conclude that there would be no serious consequence for those who planned or carried out attacks that amounted to war crimes, and in the cases of suicide bombings, crimes against humanity. This failure reflects a high degree of political responsibility on the part of President Arafat and the PA leadership for the many civilian deaths that have resulted.
However, on the basis of evidence available through the end of September, 2002, Human Rights Watch did not find evidence demonstrating that President Arafat or other senior PA officials ordered, planned, or carried out suicide bombings or other attacks against civilians. While senior PA officials fostered an atmosphere of impunity, we also did not find evidence that they authorized specific attacks or attacks against civilians generally, or that PA officials or institutions organized or assisted in preparing or carrying out attacks against civilians systematically or as a matter of policy. The "memo to Tirawi" suggests that at least some senior PA officials viewed these attacks favorably, but, as discussed in Section V, the PA and the Fatah political leadership did not have the effective control over the actions of the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades necessary to establish criminal liability under the doctrine of command responsibility.
Security Role of the PA Since September 2000
The Oslo process required that one of the central functions of the Palestinian Authority was to maintain law and order, prevent armed attacks against Israelis or Israeli targets, and bring to justice those accused of perpetrating such attacks. Some Palestinian armed groups rejected the Oslo agreement because, among other things, it was preconditioned on renouncing armed resistance against Israeli occupation.
While the post-Oslo negotiations continued, there was a significant level of cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian security forces, particularly in the aftermath of a suicide bombing campaign perpetrated by Hamas and Islamic Jihad in 1996-97. During this period, by most accounts, the PA took credible and tangible steps to prevent attacks against Israeli targets.64 Ely Karmon, an Israeli counter-terrorism analyst, commenting on the decline in attacks by Hamas and Islamic Jihad in this period, wrote that it "was due to the combined preventive counter-terrorist policy of the PA and Israel."65 Yoram Schweitzer, another Israeli analyst, noted as an example of this cooperation a March 2000 Hamas attempt to carry out attacks in Israeli cities that was thwarted by the capture of two of the leaders in Nablus by Palestinian forces.66 A senior official in the West Bank Preventive Security Service told Human Rights Watch, "1999-2000 were the best years ever from a security standpoint. When it worked we had help from Israelis-people like [former Shin Bet chief] Ami Ayalon, [former IDF chief-of-staff Lieutenant General Amnon] Shahak, [former Justice Minister Yossi] Beilin, the old [Shimon] Peres."67 Ramadan Shalah, secretary-general of Islamic Jihad, appeared to confirm this assessment regarding his organization. "The Oslo agreement," he wrote in March 2002, "demolished the foundations of the Palestinian resistance.... The Islamic movement entered a period of crisis that had more or less led to the breakdown of its military infrastructure, where it had lost most of its human and financial resources."68
With the deterioration of Israeli-Palestinian political relations and the onset of the current unrest, cooperation between Israeli and PA security forces diminished rapidly. From the outset, Israeli authorities accused the Palestinian Authority, and President Arafat personally, of being directly responsible for attacks against Israelis. For example, after a roadside bomb killed two civilians and seriously wounded nine others, including five children, in an armored school bus passing near the Kfar Darom settlement in the Gaza Strip on November 20, 2000, then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak blamed Arafat and Fatah and in retaliation ordered IDF helicopters and naval vessels to shell PA and Fatah headquarters and Preventive Security Services (PSS) offices in Gaza City.69 Many Palestinians, for their part, blamed the PA for not protecting them from attacks by the IDF and Israeli settlers in the Occupied Territories.
Mutual recriminations continued, and violence intensified. On the Palestinian side, the stoning of IDF checkpoints gave way to roadside shootings of civilians and military targets and, finally, to suicide bombing and shooting attacks against civilians as well as military targets. On the Israeli side, continuing instances of indiscriminate and/or excessive use of force were aggravated by increasingly severe restrictions on freedom of movement, a policy of assassinations of alleged militants, frequent raids into PA-controlled areas, and, finally, full-scale military re-occupation of those areas.
As the spiral of violence wound tighter, the Palestinian Authority continued to condemn publicly armed attacks that deliberately targeted civilians but, except for a brief period from mid-December 2001 to mid-January 2002, took no clear or credible actions to prevent such attacks or to punish those responsible. The PA's inaction was at least in part due to its unwillingness to confront the organizations carrying out such attacks, which enjoyed a high degree of popular Palestinian support, particularly in light of mounting Palestinian civilian casualties.
The main PA security agency responsible for enforcing PA commitments to combat anti-Israeli violence is the Preventive Security Service. With separate commands in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, the PSS at its height numbered between four and five thousand officers, mostly former Fatah fighters. Some PSS officers were trained by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. 70 Few observers, however, would characterize it as a professional law enforcement agency.71 Along with the General Intelligence Service (GIS) and other PA security forces, the PSS served as a kind of job bank for the Palestinian leader, in addition to performing policing, intelligence, and coercive functions.
The PA's failure to take effective steps to prevent suicide attacks against civilians and bring those responsible to justice dates from the earliest months of the current unrest. However, as clashes continued and intensified, Israeli attacks targeting Palestinian security services infrastructure, places of detention, and security personnel, along with curfews and stringent restrictions on movement, gradually undermined the PA's enforcement capabilities.
These attacks were generally carried out as retaliation for Palestinian attacks on Israeli targets. For example, on May 18, 2001, following a Hamas suicide bombing in Netanya that killed five and injured more than 100, Israel attacked PA security installations in Gaza City, Nablus, Ramallah, and Tulkarem. In Nablus, F-16 warplanes bombed the main prison complex, killing eleven policemen.72 In an interview in late December 2001, Preventive Security Services chief Jibril Rajoub said that more than 70 percent of its offices and 90 percent of its barracks had been destroyed.73 Israeli military analyst Gal Luft wrote, in the aftermath of Operation Defensive Shield, "The IDF has targeted PSS installations in its retaliatory attacks against Palestinian terrorism, destroying almost every PSS headquarters, office, training base, and vehicle."74 Many Israelis as well as Palestinians saw in these attacks an Israeli government policy aimed at weakening the PA to the point of collapse. On July 17, 2002, after a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv, Minister for Public Security Uzi Landau said, "We will enter their areas and break up the entire Palestinian security apparatus to bring about the collapse of the Palestinian Authority."75
On September 4, 2002, meeting with Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller, President Arafat said that Palestinians are "able to fully control the security situation" in the areas of PA jurisdiction.76 Speaking a day earlier, however, and reflecting a less optimistic assessment shared by many outside observers as well, PA Interior Minister `Abd al-Razaq Yahya told Reuters that the PA security services were "facing great difficulty" in regaining control of the security situation.77
Failure to Bring to Justice those who Ordered, Planned, or Participated in Suicide Attacks on Civilians
Although the PA's legal governing authority derives from the Oslo Accords signed with Israel, the duty to prevent systematic indiscriminate attacks against civilians is not contingent on Israeli compliance with those accords or rendered null by what the PA regards as Israeli violations of the accords. That duty should not be a bargaining chip whose implementation is subject to political negotiations. As the political authority in place, the PA has a responsibility to bring to justice individuals who order, plan, or carry out attacks against civilians. The PA has failed to meet this obligation.
When the PA made arrests, they were often indiscriminate, picking up supporters of one or another militant group without regard to any alleged responsibility for the serious crimes being committed in the name of that group. Instead of being investigated, detained suspects were typically held without charge and later released. The PA has explained these releases as a response to the danger posed by Israeli bombings of places of detention, but it has not tried to explain why suspects were not investigated, charged, or brought to trial.
PA officials also claim that Israeli actions, such as the destruction of PA police and security installations, have undermined the PA's capacity to act. However, the record indicates that the PA for the most part did not attempt to exercise its capacity to prevent or punish such crimes even when it had the ability to do so. At least until the IDF's reoccupation of Palestinian cities and towns in April 2002, the PA retained some degree of law enforcement capacity. In June 2001, and again in mid-December 2001, the PA showed that it still commanded enough influence with the perpetrator groups, using political negotiations as well as coercive law enforcement measures, to bring about cessations of suicide bombings, even though its law enforcement capacities had been diminished by Israeli attacks.
The relative success of the PA's intervention with armed groups and their sponsors in the December 2001-January 2002 period highlights the PA's lack of similar concerted effort at other times, in particular during the violent months that preceded the December 2001 initiative. This failure to take consistent and credible steps to confront these attacks contributed to a climate of impunity and set the scene for the escalation of such attacks between late January and early April of 2002.
In the first weeks of the clashes, the PA released numerous detainees, most of them members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, some of whom had been in PA detention without charge or trial for several years.78 According to press reports, the first releases took place on October 4, 2000, when twelve Hamas detainees were released from Gaza Central Prison. Subsequent releases occurred over the following week. A PA security official in Gaza claimed that by mid-October the PA had "begun to re-arrest them."79 In Nablus, fourteen of the thirty-five who had been released reportedly responded to a summons to turn themselves back in.80 Hamas political leader `Abd al-`Aziz al-Rantisi was rearrested on October 18 and released again on December 26, 2000, at the end of Ramadan.81
The Islamic Jihad organization has cited these releases as a factor contributing to the group's ability to carry out attacks against Israeli targets. The group's military wing, according to an account posted on its website, had suffered "painful blows that led to its breakdown" but with "the support from the masses as well as the release of some strugglers [mujahidin] from the PA prisons, the efforts of the movement to rebuild its military strength hastened the establishment of a new military agency, saraya al-quds."82 In early June 2001, Israel reportedly presented to the PA lists of people it said were responsible for attacks against civilians and military targets, including, according to some reports, as many as one hundred who had been released from PA detention.83
As the conflict widened and the toll of Palestinian civilian casualties mounted, reports of arrests by Palestinian security forces declined.84 In late November 2000, the PA cabinet secretary and Arafat advisor Ahmad `Abd al-Rahman reportedly said that the PA and its Islamist opposition were "fighting in the same trench."85 In mid-April 2001, the PA confirmed that it had released Muhammad Deyf, imprisoned since 1996 for his role in the Hamas suicide bomb attacks in February of that year, although officials insisted he remained under their control in "a safe place where he cannot be reached by the Israeli authorities."86 No such pretenses were made when Deyf narrowly escaped death in an Israeli rocket attack targeting him as he traveled by car in Gaza city on September 26, 2002.87
Some of the detainees released at the beginning of the uprising, as well as other armed militants and political critics of the PA, were re-detained and re-released periodically during 2001. Some were formally arrested and, beginning in late October 2001, the PA started using administrative detention orders to detain suspects. Individuals known to be leaders of groups responsible for attacks against civilians nevertheless continued to operate openly in the West Bank and Gaza Strip-in the case of Bethlehem-area al-Aqsa Brigades leader Atef Abayat, even when technically under "house arrest." In Gaza, the PA had issued a warrant in October 2001 for the arrest of `Abdallah al-Shami, but the reputed Islamic Jihad military leader was not taken into custody until June 8, 2002. (See below.)
Those measures taken by the PA to limit armed activities failed to include meaningful efforts to bring perpetrators of suicide attacks on civilians to justice. For example, following the Dolphinarium attack on June 1, 2001, President Arafat issued a statement saying that he would "do all that is needed to achieve an immediate, unconditional, real and effective cease-fire," and that the PA would implement it "by force if necessary."88 Palestinian security officials at the time said they had boosted their patrols throughout the areas under their jurisdiction. However, they also made clear that they had no plans to arrest any of the large number of militants "wanted" by Israel, some of whom were allegedly responsible for attacks on civilians.89 Nabil Sha'ath, the PA international cooperation minister, said on June 7, 2001, that two people suspected of involvement in the Dolphinarium attack had been arrested, but he made clear that arrests would be confined to those who had violated the cease-fire that had just been declared. "I don't think we should just be arresting people...unless we have real information, hard information, that some people are preparing something," Sha'ath said.90 West Bank Preventive Security chief Jibril Rajoub went further by stating, "We will not arrest any Palestinian who participated in the resistance prior to the cease-fire."91 Even when arrests were made, there is little evidence to suggest that individuals responsible for suicide attacks against civilians were ever investigated, charged, or tried.
In late September 2001, the Israeli government reportedly again passed to the PA lists of people it wanted arrested. The PA initiated another round of arrests, although it was unclear if those arrested were named on those lists. The arrests sparked violent opposition. In the Rafah area of southern Gaza, crowds set fire to PA intelligence agency offices. In Bethlehem, al-Aqsa Brigades leader Atef Abayat was detained on October 2, but only after extensive negotiations with Abayat's armed followers; he was held for only a very brief period despite President Arafat's reported order that he be kept in custody.92
During a Human Rights Watch field mission to the West Bank in January 2002, local human rights activists said that many of those detained in late 2001 had been arrested for low-level political activities; few held significant roles in armed groups, and fewer still faced formal charges. When the PA did make arrests, it was generally immediately after suicide attacks against civilians, in apparent response to Israeli and international pressure to do so. For the most part, these arrests were of known adherents or supporters of the group claiming responsibility for the attack rather than individuals actually suspected of ordering, planning, or assisting it. One recent exception to this pattern occurred after Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for a June 5, 2002, bombing of a civilian bus near Megiddo that killed thirteen IDF soldiers and four civilians. On that occasion, PA security forces detained two Islamic Jihad members in Gaza, including `Abdallah al-Shami, the reputed leader of the group's military wing, for whom an arrest warrant had been issued the previous October.
Attempts to arrest perpetrators often encountered considerable resistance from supporters of the militants. Residents of Jenin told Human Rights Watch that when Palestinian Preventive Security in Nablus in November 2001 arrested Mahmud Tawalba, an Islamic Jihad leader from the Jenin refugee camp, demonstrators marched on the PSS headquarters in Jenin, overturning vehicles and threatening to overrun the facility. "The whole camp, even Fatah, came out against this," Abu Antun, a Jenin camp leader, told Human Rights Watch. "Maybe the charges against him were true, but we would do the same for anyone, regardless of affiliation."93 Tawalba's mother told Human Rights Watch that on this occasion he had been "ambushed" by the PSS in Nablus and spent three months in jail there. "[CIA head George] Tenet checked his arrest himself," she said proudly. "But when Israel attacked the prison, the jailers left, the prisoners escaped, and Mahmud returned to Jenin."94
Haidar Irshaid, the acting governor of Jenin, told Human Rights Watch in June 2002 that the first and last time the PA had arrested armed militants in Jenin was in August 2001, when he led a force of about one hundred security personnel to arrest a group of eight Islamic Jihad activists in Jenin refugee camp. "I knew who we wanted and got them. I visited Arafat in Ramallah and told him about the scene here. `How much do you need?' he asked. `How much time?' We did it the next day. Until that time, no such operation was made in all the West Bank."95 Irshaid did not explain why no other policing efforts had been made prior to this initiative, for which he took credit, but instead blamed Israeli restrictions and the destruction of places of detention for the absence of Palestinian law enforcement initiatives.
The strongest evidence that the PA still retained some law enforcement capacity with regard to attacks against civilians came in December 2001 and early January 2002, when, in contrast to previous periods, the PA undertook sustained efforts to halt suicide bombings and Palestinian attacks in general. In response to a string of Palestinian attacks against settlers, civilians in Israel, and military targets, President Arafat on November 28, 2001, ordered the PSS to arrest members of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades. On November 29, 2001, following a suicide bombing of a civilian bus in northern Israel, the PA stated, "The Authority reaffirms that it is working in its full capacity to put an end to all sorts of attacks against Israeli civilians."96 After Hamas suicide bombing attacks on December 1 in Jerusalem, killing ten, and December 2 in Haifa, killing fifteen, Arafat declared a state of emergency, pronounced illegal "any movement, organization, or grouping" that violated the cease-fire he had declared a few days earlier, ordered the confiscation of illegal weapons, and stated that Palestinian security forces had arrested some ninety people over the previous several days.97 The efforts of PSS officers to arrest Hamas leader Shaikh Yassin led to clashes with his supporters in which one Hamas supporter was killed. After continuing demonstrations, the PSS pulled back its forces from Yassin's residence.98
In a December 3 meeting after Prime Minister Sharon returned from a visit to the United States, the Israeli cabinet issued a statement declaring the PA "an entity that supports terrorism" and authorizing the prime minister to undertake a "much broader scope" of military activity against the Palestinians.99 Israeli attacks that day included the destruction of PSS barracks near Gaza City, PA and PSS headquarters, and a jail in Jenin. The next day, the IDF shelled the PA headquarters in Ramallah, though not the building where President Arafat was confined.
On December 16, in a televised speech in Arabic marking the end of Ramadan, President Arafat called for "the complete cessation of all military activities, especially suicide attacks, which we have always condemned. We shall not stand for more than one Authority on this land, in this community and this homeland. . . . ."100 Arafat added that the PA would "punish all planners and executors and hunt down the violators" and announced that he had declared illegal Palestinian militias "that carry out terrorist activities."101
The PA continued to close Hamas and Islamic Jihad offices and said on December 18 that it had arrested more than 180 Palestinians since the beginning of the month, but provided no information on investigations or charges related to responsibility for attacks against civilians. The next day, December 19, the PA announced that it had arrested fifteen PSS officers suspected of participating in attacks on Israelis.102
As on earlier occasions, these PA moves sparked popular opposition, some of it violent, but this time the PA continued the crackdown. PA efforts to arrest alleged militants, close down charities and similar institutions affiliated with Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and arrest Hamas leader `Abd al-`Aziz al-Rantisi led to three days of clashes in Gaza. On December 21, Palestinian security forces, in circumstances that appeared to violate international standards on the use of firearms, killed six Palestinians and reportedly wounded about ninety.103 That same day, Hamas announced that it would abide by the cease-fire, and Islamic Jihad reportedly also indicated it would comply.104 On December 22, Palestinian security forces in Gaza arrested reputed Islamic Jihad military leader Shadi Muhana and a top aide, Mahmud Judeh.105 Further PA arrests of Islamic Jihad leaders and militants took place in Jenin, Bethlehem, and elsewhere on January 5, 6, and 10, 2002.106
Over a four-week period, from December 16, 2001 to January 15, 2002, no suicide or other attacks inside Israel took place. The IDF said that there were several attempts to attack settlements and military targets, but reported on December 30 that there had been a 50 percent drop in Palestinian attacks since December 16.107 Prime Minister Sharon claimed that this was due to Israeli military activities rather than PA efforts.108
The cease-fire broke on the Palestinian side on January 9, when two Hamas fighters killed four Israeli soldiers in an ambush in Israel, near the border with Gaza-retaliation, Hamas claimed, for the IDF's treatment of the bodies of three Gaza teenagers killed by a tank shell on December 30, 2001.109 The next day, the IDF razed fifty-nine homes in the Rafah refugee camp, and the Palestinian factions-except Fatah and the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades-announced they would no longer consider themselves bound by the cease-fire commitment.
On January 14, following the assassination of the Tulkarem leader of the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, Ra′id Al-Karmi, that group announced that it was also canceling its adherence to the cease-fire. Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades gunmen abducted and shot to death an Israeli settler near Beit Sahur on January 15. On January 17, an al-Aqsa Brigades gunman attacked a bat mitzvah celebration in the Israeli city of Hadera, killing six and wounding several dozen before being shot to death by Israeli police. On January 22, an al-Aqsa Brigades gunman opened fire in west Jerusalem; two of the sixteen Israelis who were wounded later died. The violence on both sides continued to escalate with the first suicide bombing of the new year, a January 25 attack on a Tel Aviv street claimed by Islamic Jihad, which wounded twenty-five, some critically. On January 27, Wafa′ Idris carried out the first suicide bombing claimed by the al-Aqsa Brigades, and the first in which a woman was the perpetrator.
Palestinian officials and Fatah leaders blamed the breakdown of the December 2001-January 2002 cease-fire on what they charged were repeated Israeli violations, including several assassinations, an attempted assassination in which two children were killed, and a number of IDF incursions into PA-controlled areas, culminating in the assassination of al-Karmi.110 "[The cease-fire] came out of real efforts by the PA," a top PSS official told Human Rights Watch. "Thirty-two Hamas and Jihad institutions were closed and we controlled the mosques. We asked for seven days [reference to Prime Minister Sharon's insistence on "seven days of absolute quiet"] and we got three weeks. It was Fatah people like Marwan Barghouti who made it happen. The Israeli `thank you' was to assassinate al-Karmi. You think we can arrest somebody today? This is fantasy."111
Some Israelis also saw the al-Karmi assassination as pivotal. Aluf Benn, diplomatic correspondent of the Israeli daily Ha'aretz, wrote retrospectively that it "was the war's turning point."112 Several days after al-Karmi's killing, Dalia Rabin-Pelosoff, then Israel's deputy minister of defense, said, "Every time there appears to be some sort of respite on the ground, something happens, whether by us or by the other side. Recently, in my opinion, we missed an opportunity to make a turning point."113 Whether or not one accepts this analysis, the cycle of violence that ensued sharply reduced the PA's capacity to confront the perpetrators and sponsors of attacks against civilians.
PA officials have claimed that they had prepared plans to continue the campaign of arrests of December 2001 and early January 2002, but were unable to do so because of repeated large-scale IDF incursions into West Bank cities, refugee camps, and villages, and increased Palestinian popular hostility toward any PA efforts to restrict the activities of the armed militants. This has remained their refrain when asked about the absence of any steps by the PA against the perpetrators of suicide bombings. Muhammad `Abd al-Nabi, a Fatah leader in Dheisheh refugee camp outside Bethlehem, speaking with Human Rights Watch on June 12, 2002, claimed that five days earlier "all security units were put on alert, and the governor had an arrest list ready-including Fatah." The arrest plans were interrupted by yet another IDF incursion into Bethlehem, he said. Neither he nor other officials in Bethlehem explained the PA's failure to make such efforts prior to the IDF's reoccupation of the area, and `Abd al-Nabi expressed some relief at having the excuse of Israeli interference. "If Sharon had not done that I'd be in a very hard place," he said. "Hamas and [Islamic] Jihad-they should send him a thank-you."114
Security officials in Bethlehem told Human Rights Watch that in fact a few arrests were nonetheless continuing-discreetly. Majid Hamad Attari, the head of the Preventive Security Service (PSS) in Bethlehem, told Human Rights Watch on June 13, 2002, that the previous day his forces had arrested an Islamic Jihad activist with explosives, who was being held in detention. When Human Rights Watch asked if this arrest had been reported, Attari replied, "It's not helpful to publicize these arrests." The authorities, he said, needed "to keep a good face before the Palestinian community while doing its duties."115 Attari's statement reflected the PA's continuing reluctance to signal unequivocally that it firmly opposed attacks against civilians.
Human Rights Watch's discussions with PA and Fatah officials in June 2002 indicated that the PA's failure to move against the perpetrators of attacks against civilians was most acute in the northern part of the West Bank, in contrast with the central region. PA officials and others in Jenin, for instance, indicated that there had been no notable PA law enforcement initiatives in that area since early January 2002. The PA-appointed governor, Zuhair Manasra, had left the district early in 2002, a consequence, Palestinians there said, of the widespread and often violent hostility among supporters of all factions, including Fatah, to PA policies aimed at returning to political negotiations with Israel. Media accounts confirm the view of independent observers that the political authority of the PA was extremely limited in Nablus as well. PA security installations were also destroyed or heavily damaged in Bethlehem, as in the north, but officials in Bethlehem claimed to be taking measures, however limited, to prevent Palestinian attacks against civilians. This picture of a differential PA political and law enforcement capacity is consistent with reports of other analysts.116 Not coincidentally, Bethlehem was the one locale where the PA, in August 2002, publicly resumed some security-related activities under the terms of an agreement negotiated between Israeli Defense Minister Binyamin Eliezer and PA Interior Minister `Abd al-Razaq al-Yahya.
Palestinian Authority Payments to Armed Militants
The available evidence of direct PA financial support for armed activities against Israel consists of some twenty documents made public by the government of Israel. The documents detail multiple requests for financial aid to President Arafat or other Fatah leaders between May 2001 and January 2002. 117 In all, seventeen documents contained requests for financial assistance on behalf of 157 individuals or their families; four contained requests for funding in the name of the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades.
No requests in the name of the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades for financial assistance were approved. Six requests on behalf of individuals, totaling sixty-eight individual payments, were approved or authorized. Twenty-seven of these payments were to families of militants who had been killed or jailed, and forty-one were to individuals, many of whom were characterized as "brothers" or "wanted." The available evidence does not indicate whether such financial assistance was of a one-time nature or routine. Almost all individuals appear to be members or activists within the Fatah movement. During the time period of the payments, in the final months of 2000 and throughout 2001, members of the Fatah-affiliated al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades carried out shooting attacks against civilians in the Occupied Territories as well as against military targets, and in late November 2001 the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades claimed responsibility for an indiscriminate shooting attack against civilians in the Israeli city of Hadera.
Fatah officials authorized these six requested payments despite widely available evidence that, in at least the cases of two individuals, the named recipients had participated in attacks on civilians in the Occupied Territories. Fourteen of the forty-one individuals for whom payment was authorized were at the time "wanted" by Israel. Twelve of these individuals, in seeking financial assistance, identified themselves as "wanted." Neither the documents nor the accompanying Israeli commentary indicate whether they were wanted for attacks on civilians or for other alleged offenses. In the cases of Ra′id al-Karmi and Atef Abayat, however, President Arafat and other responsible officials knew or should have known of their widely reported (and in al-Karmi's case, self-proclaimed) responsibility for perpetrating shooting attacks that targeted Israeli civilians. In both cases, the government of Israel had previously requested their arrest. Other times, Fatah officials had the capacity to check the background of the individuals named on the list, and thus could have ensured that no assistance would go to people who were responsible for attacks against civilians. At least two lists are extensively annotated, and unnamed functionaries are asked to present other names in order of merit.118
The clearest case in which President Arafat authorized payment despite the recipient's widely reported links to attacks on civilians was that of Ra′id al-Karmi, the al-Aqsa Brigades leader in Tulkarem. 119 An undated request from Ramallah-based Fatah leader Hussein al-Sheikh asked Arafat to provide al-Karmi and two others with $2,500 each; Arafat apparently authorized payments of $600 each on September 19, 2001.120 The IDF had placed al-Karmi on its "most wanted" list in August 2001, accusing him of involvement in "numerous" shooting attacks and responsibility for the deaths of seven civilians and two soldiers. Al-Karmi himself openly boasted of his involvement in the execution-style killing of two Israeli restaurateurs visiting Tulkarem on January 23, 2001-in retaliation, he said, for Israel's assassination several seeks earlier of local Fatah leader Thabet Thabet.121 The PA had arrested al-Karmi and three others later in January 2001 in connection with the killing of the two restaurateurs, but he fled prison several months later. Al-Karmi had survived a well-publicized Israeli assassination attempt on September 6, 2001, shortly before President Arafat authorized the payment in question, and had spoken openly of his intention to continue attacks against Israelis.122
In another captured document, al-Karmi approached Arafat via Marwan Barghouti, requesting payments to twelve "fighter brethren," not including himself.123 Despite al-Karmi's own self-proclaimed responsibility for attacks on civilians, Arafat granted a payment of $350 to each individual on al-Karmi's list, again without making any apparent effort to ensure that these fighters were not responsible for attacks on civilians. The payments were made on January 7, 2002, a week before al-Karmi was assassinated. At the time of his assassination, according to media reports, the PA had assured European Union officials that al-Karmi was under arrest.124 According to one report, he was assassinated "while visiting his wife and daughter during a furlough from the `protective custody' of a PA jail."125
Atef Abayat was a Bethlehem-area al-Aqsa Brigades leader whose arrest Israel had requested as early as November 2000 after he had been involved in a clash with IDF soldiers near al-Khader village. A July 9, 2001, request by Kamal Hmeid, the head of Fatah in Bethlehem, for assistance of $2,000 each to twenty-four local activists, including Abayat, apparently led to Arafat's authorization of $350 to each.126 In early August 2001, before Arafat authorized the payment, Abayat had allegedly killed at least one Israeli civilian.127 Hmeid denied to the media that the funds were used to support armed attacks. "The money we receive is used for political and social activities only," he said, without addressing the fact that the document listed Abayat among the recipients.128 Five weeks after the payment was authorized, Abayat allegedly killed another civilian. PA security forces attempted to arrest Abayat on October 2 (see above), but allowed him to go free following a confrontation with his armed supporters. Israeli forces assassinated Abayat on October 18, 2001.
Another person on the list of three for whom President Arafat authorized a $600 payment in September 2001 was Ziad Da`as, a member of the al-Aqsa Brigades in Tulkarem and reportedly the successor to al-Karmi as leader of the group there. At the time when the payment was authorized, so far as Human Rights Watch could determine, Da`as had not been publicly linked with attacks against civilians. However, the February 2002 "memo to Tirawi" (see below) named Da`as as the leader of one of three al-Aqsa Brigades "squads" in Tulkarem and attributed to him a leading role in the deadly shooting attack on civilians claimed by the al-Aqsa Brigades in the Israeli city of Hadera on January 17, 2002. Da`as's name also appears among twenty-five activists listed on a memorandum from Marwan Barghouti requesting President Arafat's approval of financial assistance. The document is undated, and there is no indication of whether Arafat approved the request.
Human Rights Watch identified five cases in which Israeli analysts allege that an individual requesting financial assistance had direct involvement in suicide attacks against civilians.129 The documents do not indicate whether any of these requests were granted. Of those requests that were dated, each was made several months before the first al-Aqsa Brigades suicide attacks against civilians.
In addition to Da′as, al-Karmi, and Abayat, two individuals listed in the various requests for financial assistance are alleged by the Israeli authorities to have participated in attacks against civilians. Of these two requests, Arafat authorized one: a payment of $800 to Bilal Abu `Amsha on April 5, 2001. Israeli authorities allege that Abu `Amsha was responsible for the shooting of a sixty-three-year-old man on May 31, 2001, seven weeks after the payment was authorized.
Requests for financial assistance were typically presented to Marwan Barghouti, in his capacity as secretary-general of Fatah in the West Bank, who then presented them to Arafat. Other senior Fatah figures, such as Hussein al-Sheikh, also forwarded such requests. The size of requested financial assistance differed according to an individual's seniority, but generally ranged from the equivalent of $300 to $800. President Arafat's authorization typically consisted of a handwritten instruction to the "ministry of finance" to make the payment(s) indicated. These recipients were described in the funding requests as, variously, "brothers," "fighting brothers," or simply "pursued by the occupation forces and deserving of aid." Most of the recipients appear to be Fatah-associated, except for two identified by Israeli analysts as PFLP members and one identified by Israeli analysts as an Islamic Jihad member.130
Human Rights Watch was unable to ascertain whether such payments and funding practices continued in 2002, after the al-Aqsa Brigades began to carry out suicide bombing attacks against civilians. Several documents from the Fatah branches in the Jenin and Nablus districts, from which many al-Aqsa Brigades attacks against civilians emanated, complained about an absence of funds for armed militants. (See above.)
In the cases of Ra′id al-Karmi and Atef Abayat, President Arafat authorized financial assistance to persons whom he knew or should have known had been involved in attacks against civilians. These payments, while small in amount and few in number, demonstrate Arafat's disturbing indifference to, if not possible support for, Palestinian attacks on civilians.
President Arafat should take immediate steps to ensure that in the future no financial assistance is given to individuals engaged in attacks against civilians, and should enforce and make public a requirement not to attack civilians as a condition of any future payments.
Requests for Palestinian Authority Financial Assistance from Armed Groups
According to press reports, President Bush was shown Israeli intelligence reports of a direct payment of $20,000 made or authorized by President Arafat to the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades shortly after two suicide attacks against civilians claimed by the Brigades.131 Evidence supporting this allegation of payment has not been made public.
Of the body of materials released publicly by the IDF, two documents on al-Aqsa Brigades letterhead were allegedly discovered by the IDF in the main PA compound. The IDF has claimed that the documents:
Reveal that the Al-Aqsa Brigades is an established organization, which holds official correspondence with Fu′ad Shubaki's office in order for it to finance its planned operations. This money does not go merely to finance propaganda concerning terrorists involved in attacks, but also to control the planning of future attacks.132
One undated memo, on letterhead emblazoned in Arabic and English "al-Aqsa Martyres [sic] Troops Palestine," consists of a handwritten costing of salaries, rent, and tools such as lathes and milling machines, totaling some $80,000.133 The IDF analysis asserts that the items indicate "an ambitious plan... to establish a heavy arms production workshop," including mortars.134
The second document is a financial report, typed on similar letterhead and dated September 16, 2001.135 It reports debts of 38,000 Israeli shekels ($8,800 US dollars), indicating, at a minimum, that the al-Aqsa Brigades considered they had a reporting relationship with the recipient. The breakdown of expenses includes the production of martyrs posters, memorial ceremonies, "electrical parts and various chemical materials" for manufacturing explosives, and ammunition.136 The report also requests an immediate transfer of funds to purchase Kalashnikov bullets.
Neither document was signed. There is no indication in the scanned originals of the office(s) or individual(s) to whom the documents were addressed or whether they were ever approved. The IDF has said that the documents were addressed to Fu′ad Shubaki, and seized from the government compound in Ramallah. Shubaki, a close associate of Arafat, held the official title of head of the financial directorate of the General Security Service, but has frequently been characterized in media reports as Arafat's chief financial officer. 137
If it can be verified that the two documents were addressed to high-ranking PA officials, they would represent the clearest available evidence of some level of financial and hence operational relationship between officials of the PA and the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades. The dates of the documents place them prior to the al-Aqsa Brigades' involvement in suicide bombing attacks against civilians, although at a time when the al-Aqsa Brigades did routinely carry out shooting attacks against civilians as well as military targets in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
A third document, the aforementioned "memo to Tirawi," indicates that in Tulkarem a funding relationship existed between Fatah and some local al-Aqsa Brigades groups. The memo notes that "the Tanzim secretariat provides...sums of money from the Tanzim and emergency budgets as allocations to the armed brothers." 138 The memo does not indicate how much money is provided, or that there are any restrictions or conditions attached, although it does indicate that the sums were "small," leading to disputes among competing groups of al-Aqsa Brigades militants. Elsewhere the memo states that while most of the militants owned their own rifles, contributions from Tanzim and "financial assistance collected from his excellency the president" helped to defray the cost of three additional rifles. It is not clear from the memo whether President Arafat was aware of the purpose of this collection, or when these funds were "collected."
In the view of Human Rights Watch, the PA had an obligation to check where funds it controlled were going and how they were being spent. Many PA officials were also leading members of Fatah. In that capacity, they also had a responsibility to check the backgrounds of individuals and groups to ensure that neither PA nor Fatah funding went to individuals or groups that had been involved in attacks against civilians. Regrettably, President Arafat and other senior Fatah officials did provide financial assistance to people involved in planning and carrying out armed attacks that included attacks on civilians (other than suicide bombings). In doing so, these officials seriously abrogated their responsibility as the governing authority to prevent such attacks. However, the publicly available evidence is not conclusive as to whether President Arafat or the PA provided financial support to the perpetrators of attacks against civilians with the intent of supporting such attacks.
Participation of PA Security Officials in Suicide Bombings or Other Attacks on Civilians
Based on its own investigation as well as media accounts and publicly available, captured PA documents, Human Rights Watch identified instances in which individuals employed in one or another Palestinian security force were involved in shooting or suicide bomb attacks targeting civilians. Human Rights Watch also found that individual members of the PA security forces have had ongoing associations with armed groups that have carried out suicide bombing attacks on civilians. On at least two occasions, individual members of PA intelligence services assisted perpetrators in carrying out such attacks.139
The PA should have made credible efforts to reprimand, discipline, or, where appropriate, bring to justice members of its own security services who, in apparent disregard for declared PA policies, participated in or lent support to those responsible for attacks against civilians. Insofar as Human Rights Watch could determine, it did not do so.
The IDF has made its most specific allegations about PA security forces' involvement in attacks against civilians with regard to the General Intelligence Services (GIS), a force of about one thousand. The West Bank head of the GIS is Tawfiq Tirawi. An IDF spokesperson's statement of July 2, 2002, claimed that "in the past two years the [GIS] apparatus has been involved in hundreds of shooting and bombing attacks against Israeli civilian and military targets" and that "commanders of the Palestinian General Intelligence, including the head of the organization, directed terror cells in various locations in the West Bank."140 During the IDF siege of President Arafat's headquarters in late September 2002, Israel named Tirawi as among those people in Arafat's remaining building who were "wanted" for alleged "terrorist" activity.
The charges against Tirawi, which he has denied, appear to be based primarily on the results of IDF or Shin Bet interrogations of captured Palestinians. In commentary on documents the IDF says it captured from PA offices in April 2002, Israeli analysts wrote that "wanted terrorist activists who were detained in Operation Defensive Wall reported in their interrogation of the direct involvement of Tirawi and his men in recruiting terrorists, their preparation, and the supply of ammunition for their operations."141
The most incriminating document made public by the Israeli authorities-the "memo to Tirawi"-suggests that Tirawi may have viewed attacks on civilians positively. Hamdi Darduk, the head of the GIS in Tulkarem, describes to Tawfiq Tirawi the competitive dynamics among the local armed militants, numbering fifteen to twenty in all. Referring to one group of militants who are willing to operate "on bypass roads and even in the depth of Israel," Darduk notes that they have been responsible for such "qualitative and successful activities," as the shooting attack on a bat mitzvah celebration in Hadera on January 17, 2002. Darduk said that these "men are very close to us and [we are] in constant coordination and contact with them."
The memo expresses frustration that there is "no clear address" for the al-Aqsa Brigades in Tulkarem, and characterizes the attitude of al-Aqsa Brigades militants towards the Tulkarem security services as "defiant and quarrelsome." Darduk complains that the armed factions "stand united vis-à-vis any problem arising with the security services" but "revert to their [divided] state" once the immediate tension with the authorities is resolved. He recommends that the "the outstanding individuals" be selected "to train them for the future" and names Ziad Da`as and Bilal Abu `Amsha (see above) among those to be selected. 142 The memo recommends "weeding out some of the outsiders" to "discard their financial burden and the problems they cause," and providing financial and other support to the most desirable individuals
There is no record of any response by Tirawi to this memorandum, or indication that he read it, but the contents show that in Tulkarem the GIS was well aware of who was who among the armed militants affiliated with Fatah and was keen to work with them despite the involvement of some in attacks on civilians. The memo suggests that the GIS was at that time not playing a leading or controlling role in attacks by the al-Aqsa Brigades; rather, tone and content reflect an attempt to assert influence in a situation over which they had lost control. There is no indication, however, that preventing Palestinian attacks against Israeli civilians is among the goals of the GIS in Tulkarem. On the contrary, the writer, addressing the senior GIS officer for the West Bank expressly condoned attacks on civilians, recommended financial support for the perpetrators, and displayed no hesitation about conveying that approval to his superiors.
If this memo accurately reflects GIS policy, it would indicate that at least one PA security service intentionally assisted or sought to assist armed activity by al-Aqsa Brigades militants that included attacks against civilians.143
Majid Hamad Attari, the head of Preventive Security in Bethlehem, told Human Rights Watch that his agency's clear instructions since the beginning of the current uprising were to stop attacks against Israelis-"all attacks, not just inside Israel, and not just against civilians." The only times when this broke down, he said, was when the IDF launched attacks directly against Palestinian forces. "The orders even then were, `Get out of the way, do not resist,'" Attari said, but he indicated that some officers did on those occasions return fire. Human Rights Watch has documented instances in which PSS employees participated in exchanges of fire with IDF forces.144
Several people interviewed by Human Rights Watch indicated that the PA policy against the participation of security forces in clashes had led many to quit the forces. One person identified by the IDF as a PSS employee wanted for al-Aqsa Brigades activities is `Ata Abu Rumaila. In an interview with Human Rights Watch in Jenin refugee camp, Rumaila introduced himself as a senior Fatah member there. He acknowledged that he had been in the mukhabarat (intelligence services), but said he had resigned and no longer served in any official capacity.145 "There were a large number of defections," said `Awni al-Mashni, a Fatah leader in Dheisheh refugee camp. Al-Mashni distinguished between those who quit the forces to join "the resistance" and those who had responded when under Israeli attack but otherwise did not take part in attacks against Israelis and who remained on the force.146
At least two members of the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades organized or carried out suicide attacks against Israeli civilians while reportedly serving in low-level positions in the PA. Said Ramadan, an employee of the PA naval police, carried out an indiscriminate shooting attack in Jerusalem on January 22, 2002. Ibrahim Hassouna, a Nablus-based employee of the naval police, carried out a shooting attack against civilians at the Sea Market restaurant in Tel Aviv on March 5, 2002.147 The cases of Ramadan and Hassouna indicate that the al-Aqsa Brigades recruited from the ranks of low-level PA security employees.148 Israel has stated that on April 16, 2002, it captured Muhammad Araj, a member of the GIS, in the Qalandiyya refugee camp outside Ramallah with two belts for carrying explosive devices and two "suicide letters."
Based on documents made public by the IDF, it appears that Arafat approved the recruitment of armed militants for the Palestinian security services in 2001. One example is a list requesting the employment of fifteen individuals sent to Arafat in mid-May 2001 (and again in early August) from Fatah leaders in Hebron. At least two of the individuals named in this document were wanted by Israel for earlier attacks against civilians.149 One of these, Zaki Hamid al-Zaru, is alleged to have been the sniper who killed a baby girl and wounded her father in a shooting attack against Israeli settlers in Hebron on March 26, 2001.150 The second, Marwan Zallum, authored the request in his capacity as head of the Fatah district branch in Hebron. Arafat transferred the August version of the memo to various security force commanders "for action." Five months after the May request, Zallum was reportedly placed on a list of Israel's "most wanted" armed Palestinians. He was allegedly involved in the April 12, 2002, suicide attack on the Mahane Yehuda Market, and was assassinated on April 22, 2002.151 An IDF communiqué on that day listed numerous shootings and other attacks against military targets and civilians, including the Hebron sniper attack of March 26, 2001, which it said were carried out "under [Zallum's] direct orders."152
However, the available evidence does not establish that PA recruitment of Fatah activists to the ranks of the PA security forces was done with the intent of supporting or endorsing attacks against civilians. The IDF, in its own analysis of PA recruitment practices, notes that such recruitment appeared to be an effort by PA officials "to integrate Fatah and Fatah/Tanzim activists into the PA's security apparatuses.... The `deal' offered to them was monthly salary...in exchange for the activists operating in accordance with PA policies."153 The problem, the analysts continue, is that these activists continued to receive PA salaries "even when they refused to participate in activities in the framework of the security forces" and "even while they are included on Israel's list of most wanted terrorists which was transferred to the PA...."154
The most prominent example, cited by the IDF analysts, is that of Nasr `Awais, a Nablus-based leader of the al-Aqsa Brigades in the northern West Bank. Israeli forces captured `Awais in April 2002.155 Israel has accused him of responsibility for sponsoring suicide attacks in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Umm al-Fahm beginning in January 2002. Palestinian sources in Nablus confirmed to Human Rights Watch that `Awais played a leading role in al-Aqsa Brigades operations there, including attacks inside Israel originating in the northern West Bank.156 According to the IDF, `Awais remained on the payroll of the GIS despite "in recent months" his involvement in planning and carrying out attacks against Israeli civilians.157 However, some press reports in March 2002 referred to `Awais as a "former" officer.158 By one account, `Awais was among several PA security employees sacked by Arafat in December 2001.159 Further investigation is needed to resolve these conflicting allegations.
Israel has accused Jamal Tirawi, head of GIS in Nablus, and Jihad Masimi, head of criminal investigations for the Nablus police, of having helped to direct suicide bomb operations. 160 Maher Fares, the head of Military Intelligence (MIS) in Nablus, is accused by Israel of operating a cell that placed explosives on a Tel Aviv bus on December 28, 2000, wounding nine.161 Evidence for the allegations against these three individuals, however, has not been made public. Colonel Abu Hamdan, of MIS in Nablus, is named in captured Palestinian intelligence documents as the leader of the Battalions of the Return, a small, armed group of uncertain provenance.162
Security Officials' Protection of Individuals "Wanted" by Israel
Human Rights Watch researchers have documented instances in which PA intelligence officials warned Palestinians that they were "wanted" by Israeli authorities for armed activities. In one case, members the family of R., a reputed member of the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades and planner of suicide attacks against civilians, told Human Rights Watch that he had several times been warned by former colleagues in the General Intelligence Service (GIS) of impending Israeli attempts to capture or assassinate him.163 Whether such warnings were the result of personal loyalties or official policy was not clear.
Documents made public by Israel also indicate instances in which local security or intelligence officials issued warnings to Palestinians who were "wanted" by Israel, although for the most part there is no indication that this "wanted" status was a result of allegations of involvement in suicide bombings or other attacks on civilians. For example, one letter dated May 21, 2001, from the GIS in Tulkarem to the director of the GIS Ramallah Governorate office, refers to an attached list (not made public) of names of 232 people wanted by Israel.164 At the bottom of the letter is a handwritten annotation, "Please inform the brothers whose names are mentioned above to stay alert and pay attention. Also, do a full security check on all those names and let us know."165 There are no indications as to why those listed were wanted by the Israelis: two were annotated as being affiliated with different PA security services.
Some documents made public by Israel suggest that payoffs by groups to individual security officers, rather than institutional policy, may have been a significant factor in helping members of armed groups evade capture. A memo to West Bank GIS head Tawfiq Tirawi from a person in Jenin whose position and affiliation are not made clear, cites an intelligence source as reporting that "the Hamas and [Islamic] Jihad movements have penetrated the security apparatuses in Jenin, by means of payoffs." The report identifies Jamal Sweitat, deputy head of PSS in Jenin, as one of those people, asserts that he is "working for the [Islamic] Jihad from among General Intelligence and Preventive Security personnel," and says that Sweitat, among other things, "often contacts" Islamic Jihad activists and "notifies [them] of planned arrests against them and who the wanted persons are."166 Six other intelligence employees are also reported to have received payoffs: three from the GIS, and two from the PSS.167 Israeli authorities have alleged similar practices in Bethlehem, saying that Islamic Jihad and Hamas made payments of between $1,500 and $3,000 to GIS and PSS officers to ensure that the recipients warned them of any imminent arrest attempts.168 The IDF has not released evidence for this allegation.
High-ranking PA officials, including President Arafat, failed in their duty to administer justice and enforce the rule of law in compliance with international standards. Through their repeated failure to arrest or prosecute individuals alleged to have planned or carried out suicide attacks against civilians, they contributed a climate of impunity-and failed to prevent the bloody consequences. Their payments to, and recruitment of, individuals responsible for attacks against civilians likewise demonstrate, at least, a serious failure to meet their political responsibilities as the governing authorities, if not a willingness to support them. However, there is no publicly available evidence that Arafat or other senior PA officials ordered, planned, or carried out such attacks.
Was this failure of President Arafat and the PA so egregious as to establish criminal liability for the actions of armed groups under the doctrine of command responsibility? In relation to Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the PFLP, there is no suggestion of the supervisor-subordinate relationship that is required to apply the doctrine. The PA could and should have exerted greater political pressure to bring these groups to halt suicide and other attacks on civilians, but that does not reflect the requisite control over their activities. In the case of the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, any supervisory link appears to have been weak at best. Nor does the PA's capacity to prosecute perpetrators, which it possessed for much of the uprising but did not apply, meet on its own the requirement of "effective control"-the ability to issue instructions, enforce obedience, and punish disobedience-that is necessary for the doctrine of command responsibility to apply. For example, even a government such as Colombia's, with a far more substantial law enforcement capacity, has not been found to have command responsibility for atrocities committed by paramilitary forces simply by virtue of the government's failure to prosecute them.169 But this is no excuse for inaction: the PA has a clear duty to act, in concert with regional leaders and the international community, to prevent suicide bombing attacks against Israeli civilians, ending the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Palestinian armed groups.
62 Of the 26 percent of the West Bank under PA security control, the PA shared joint security responsibility with Israel for 23 percent, and 3 percent was under its sole control. Beinin, J. "The Demise of the Oslo Process", March 26, 1999. MERIP PIN no. 1 at http://www.merip.org/pins/pin1.html (accessed October 10, 2002).
63 See the report to Tawfiq Tirawi, head of the General Intelligence Services (GIS) in the West Bank, from Hamdi Darduk, the GIS head in Tulkarem, entitled "The General Situation Among Armed Fatah Personnel in the District," February 6, 2002.
64 For an account of how security cooperation fared in response to the suicide bombings in early 1996, see James Bruce, "The PLO, Israel and Security," Jane's Intelligence Review, April 1, 1996. For a critique of PA human rights abuses in its arrest and treatment of detainees in this period, see Human Rights Watch, "Human rights under the Palestinian Authority," A Human Rights Watch Report, vol. 9, no. 10 (E), September 1997.
65 Karmon, "Hamas' Terrorism Strategy...," Middle East Review of International Affairs, p. 66.
66 Yoram Schweitzer, "Suicide Terrorism: Development and Characteristics," lecture presented in the International Conference on Countering Suicide Terrorism at ICT, Herzeliya, Israel, February 21, 2000 at http://www.ict.org.il/ (accessed October 10, 2002).
67 Interview, name withheld, Jerusalem, June 9, 2002.
68 Shalah goes on to write that the Hizbollah victory over the IDF in southern Lebanon and the collapse of the July 2000 Camp David talks "opened a new window of opportunity for the Palestinian people to return to the option of intifada and resistance." "The Islamic Jihad movement in Palestine: Preliminary Remarks," (in Arabic) Al-Intiqad (weekly) no. 924, March 2002.
69 Arafat condemned the roadside bomb attack, for which no group claimed responsibility.
70 For an overview of this relationship, see "The Palestinian Authority and the CIA," IISS [International Institute for Strategic Studies] Strategic Comments, vol. 4, no. 10, December 1998.
71 One independent Palestinian analyst, asked by Human Rights Watch about links between Fatah and the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, said that the Brigades were "freelance Fatah" while the PSS was "the real armed wing of Fatah," with a mission of enforcing PA (i.e., Fatah) policy vis-à-vis the Islamist opposition Human Rights Watch interview, Washington, D.C., September 4, 2002.
72 On May 20, 2001, an IDF tank shelled the home of Colonel Jibril Rajoub, West Bank head of the PSS. Rajoub was at home at the time but escaped harm. The IDF later said that it was responding to shooting from a position nearby and had been unaware of the fact that it was Rajoub's home, but the officer in command of the tank unit told a radio interviewer that his men knew who they were targeting. See the Economist, May 26-June 1, 2001, pp. 43-44.
73 "Palestinian Security Chief on Cease-fire Decision, Compliance of Hamas," Al-Musawwar (Cairo), December 28, 2001, excerpts translated by Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS), Near East and South Asia, document number: FBIS-NES-2002-0102.
74 Gal Luft, "Reforming the Palestinian Security Services," The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Peacewatch, no. 382, May 15, 2002.
75 "Pair of Bombers Strike in Tel Aviv, Killing Three in Street," New York Times, July 18, 2002.
76 "Arafat says he accepts EU peace plan `in principle'," Ha'aretz (September 4, 2002).
77 Mark Heinrich, "Militants endanger security deal-Israeli general," Reuters, September 3, 2002.
78 Prior to the current uprising, "political" detainees, mostly supporters or suspected supporters of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, were periodically detained in large numbers, usually in the aftermath of attacks against Israeli civilians or military targets and usually without charge or trial. In mid-1997, for instance, between 115 and 300 "political" detainees had been in Palestinian detention for at least one, and as long as three, years. See Human Rights Watch, "Human Rights under the Palestinian Authority," September 1997, p. 11. An estimated seven hundred "political" detainees had been arrested in 1999 and 2000. See Human Rights Watch, "Justice Undermined," November 2001, p. 25. Hamas political leader Mahmud Zahar, speaking to the Palestinian daily al-Ayyam, named five released Hamas detainees who he said had spent around five years in prison. See Jersualem Media and Communications Centre (JMCC) Daily Press Summary, October 9, 2000. See also "Terrorists Recently Released by the Palestinian Authority," October 12, 2000 at http://www.mfa.gov.il (accessed October 10, 2002). Several of the individuals listed were released earlier in 2000, according to the IDF at http://www.idf.i./english/idf_in_pictures/2000/october/piguim.stm (accessed September, 2002).
79 Margot Dudkevitch and Lamia Lahoud, "Mofaz denies PA re-arresting released terrorists," Jerusalem Post, October 16, 2000."
80 Ron Kampeas, "Israelis and Palestinians agree to cease-fire summit," Associated Press, October 14, 2000.
81 "Released Hamas leader says intifadah only way to unite Palestinians," al-Jazeera interview with `Abd al-`Aziz al-Rantisi, BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, The Middle East, December 29, 2000. A report on the Hamas-affiliated Palestinian Information Centre website on December 28, 2000 said that with al-Rantisi's release, the only Hamas leader still in PA custody in Gaza was Muhammad Deyf, but that Hamas prisoners had not been released from PA prisons in the West Bank. See "Hamas reports fate of jailed leading member Al-Dayf "still unknown," BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, The MiddleEast, December 30, 2000.
82 "From Qassam to Saraya al-Quds," (in Arabic) at http://www.qudsway.com. Translated by Human Rights Watch.
83 "After the Tel Aviv Suicide-bomb," Economist (June 9-15, 2001), p. 46.
84 On November 27, 2000, the PA announced that it had arrested two Hamas members in connection with a car bombing in Hadera that killed two civilians and wounded sixty. Human Rights Watch does not have information concerning any investigation or prosecution related to this attack.
85 Holger Jensen, "Chances for Mideast peace dwindle in cycle of violence," Denver Rocky Mountain News, November 23, 2000.
86 "Palestinians confirm Hamas military leader no longer in custody," Agence France-Presse, April 16, 2001.
87 James Bennet, "Israel says target in Gaza raid was wounded, but escaped," New York Times, September 28, 2002. The attack killed two other Hamas members and wounded more than thirty persons, including fifteen children.
88 "After the Tel Aviv suicide-bomb," Economist (June 9-15, 2001), p. 46.
89 According to the Economist, ibid., Israel demanded that the PA "re-arrest the 100 or so Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners freed from PA jails" early in the uprising as well as "another 200 Palestinians, including members of Fatah and officers in the PA's own security forces, who Israel says have been responsible for killing Israelis, whether in Israel or the Occupied Territories." Other accounts said the lists included thirty-four Palestinians whom the PA had released from detention at the outset of the uprising and 300 others wanted in connection with "recent violence against military and civilian targets." See "Chronology: 16 May-15 August 2001," Journal of Palestine Studies XXXI, no. 1, Autumn 2001, p.160.
90 "Palestinians will not make wholesale arrests but will hunt suspects: Shaath," Agence France-Presse, June 9, 2001.
91 "Israel-Palestine divided over agenda for security talks," Agence France-Presse, June 18, 2001.
92 On the `Abayat arrest, see James Hider, "Mideast truce firms up as Bush backs Palestinian state," Agence France-Presse, October 2, 2001. A Jerusalem-based Western diplomat familiar with the incident told Human Rights Watch that Abayat had been freed by Bethlehem authorities despite Arafat's orders to the contrary.
93 Human Rights Watch interview, Jenin refugee camp, June 11, 2002. Tawalba was killed in the early days of the IDF invasion of Jenin refugee camp in April 2002. Abu Antun, formerly affiliated with the PFLP, is considered in Jenin to be an independent figure today.
94 Human Rights Watch interview, Jenin refugee camp, June 11, 2002.
95 Human Rights Watch interview, Jenin city, June 10, 2002. Human Rights Watch has been unable to confirm that such an arrest raid took place in Jenin in or around August 2001, but Irshaid's account corresponds to reports of such a raid in early January 2002 (see below).
96 Carol Rosenberg, "Arab Suicide Bomber Kills Three Israelis, Wounds Other Bus Riders," Knight-Ridder Tribune Business News, November 30, 2001.
97 "Palestinian authority outlaws groups adopting anti-Israeli operations," WAFA [the official news agency of the PA], translation from BBC Monitoring Middle East-Political, December 2, 2001. The Israeli government dismissed the arrests as "a stunt." Peter Hermann, "Israelis avenge attacks, hit Arafat's compound," Baltimore Sun, December 4, 2001.
98 Richard Beeston, "Frail fanatic who strikes fear in Israel," The Times (London), December 7, 2001.
99 Foreign Minister Peres and other Labor party cabinet members reportedly left the meeting to protest this statement, but did not withdraw from the governing coalition. In July 2001, the IDF reportedly submitted to the cabinet a revised "strike plan" entitled, "The Destruction of the Palestinian Authority and Disarmament of all armed forces," to be implemented after the next big suicide attack inside Israel. See "Peace Monitor," Journal of Palestine Studies XXXI, no. 1, Autumn 2001, pp. 108-109. See also "Israeli War Plan Revealed," CBSNews, July 12, 2001.
100 Yassir Arafat speech, at http://www.palestineaffairscouncil.org/president_arafat_addresses_the_p.htm (accessed July 2002).
102 On December 30, PA sources said the authorities had tried and sentenced five PSS officers to eighteen-month jail terms and fired two other officers, one of whom was sentenced to a year in prison, for "anti-Israeli activities." One of those dismissed may have been Nasr `Awais, a prominent al-Aqsa Brigades member in Nablus. See Mohammed Daraghmeh, "Link to the Fatah movement is spiritual, not organizational.... The al-Aqsa Brigades: Palestinian blood to answer Israeli explosives" (in Arabic), Arab Media Internet Network, March 23, 2002 at http://www.amin.org/mohammed.daraghmeh/2002/mar/mar23.html (accessed on September 8 2002).
103 Steve Weizman, "Palestinians say militants' truce call puts onus for peace on Israel," Associated Press, December 22, 2001.
104 James Bennet, "New clashes in Gaza; Hamas to limit suicide attacks," New York Times, December 22, 2001. The Hamas statement referred to attacks inside Israel, including mortar attacks, but implied that it did not consider itself bound to refrain from attacks against military targets or settlers in the Occupied Territories. The PA reportedly backed down after attempting to arrest Hamas political leader `Abd al-`Aziz al-Rantisi, in the end cutting his phone line and getting his agreement not to conduct media interviews. Lee Hockstader, "Funeral violence averted in Gaza; Many seethe but six Palestinians are buried without incident," Washington Post, December 23, 2001.
105 Ross Dunn, "Arafat to defy ban and walk to Bethlehem," Sydney Morning Herald, December 24, 2001.
106 On the Jenin arrests, see Lamia Lahoud and Margot Dudkevitch, "PA arrests 6 Islamic Jihad militants," Jerusalem Post, January 7, 2001; on Bethlehem see Karin Laub, "Mideast truce top goal of US envoy," Associated Press, January 5, 2002.
107 "Six Palestinians killed, Israel says," St. Petersburg Times (Florida), December 31, 2001.
108 "Sharon tells Norway's foreign minister that Arafat has done nothing," Agence France-Presse, January 2, 2002.
109 The IDF initially said the three were armed, but subsequently said no weapons were found on them. See "Three Palestinians killed in Gaza were from Popular Resistance Committee," Agence France-Press, December 31, 2001. The IDF returned the bodies of the three on January 3, 2002. Photographs of the three bodies led to charges that their bodies had been mutilated. On January 23, 2002, the IDF announced the results of an investigation, saying that they had been killed by tank shells packed with flechettes, and that one of the bodies had been run over by a tank.
110 During the cease-fire period, one Israeli soldier was killed on December 25, by infiltrators from Jordan. At least twenty-one Palestinians were killed by Israelis during this period. Most, Israel claimed, were armed or "wanted" militants, but the toll included two children killed when an IDF helicopter-fired missile missed its intended target and hit the car in which they were riding in Hebron on December 17.
111 Human Rights Watch interview, Jerusalem, June 9, 2002. West Bank PSS head Jibril Rajoub told an Egyptian newspaper at the time that more than forty-five Hamas and Islamic Jihad offices "that have political or media activities" had been closed down, but that "charity institutions that offer health or education services" were not. See "Palestinian Security Chief on Cease-fire Decision, Compliance of Hamas," Al-Musawwar (Cairo), December 28, 2001. Excerpts translated by Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS), document number: FBIS-NES-2002-0102.
112 "In Israel, Too Much to Leave to the Generals," Washington Post, August 18, 2002.
113 Rabin-Pelosof's comments on Israel radio were reported in Peter Hermann, "Israel takes Arab city; Army's incursion in West Bank is its deepest since 1993," Baltimore Sun, January 22, 2002.
114 Human Rights Watch interview, Dheisheh refugee camp, June 12, 2002.
115 Human Rights Watch interview, Bethlehem, June 13, 2002.
116 Khalil Shikaki, an independent political analyst based in Ramallah, and Graham Usher, the Economist correspondent based in Jerusalem, made such observations in conversations with Human Rights Watch in June and July 2002.
117 The IDF has also publicized payments that appear to have involved the misuse of PA funds, including the use of the PA salaries to fund Fatah branch activities in 1998 and 1999, at a time when Fatah activists openly supported the PA's adherence to the Oslo Accords and security cooperation with Israel.
118 Some typical handwritten annotations next to individual names on the memo are "good fighter" and "we know him."
119 See "Arafat's Documents, Continuation" (in Arabic), IDF at http://www.idf.il/arafat/continuation/english/index1.stm (accessed October 10, 2002).
120 Government of Israel, "The Involvement of Arafat, PA Senior Officials and Apparatuses in Terrorism against Israel, Corruption and Crime," prepared by a team headed by Minister of Parliamentary Affairs (n.d.), Dani Naveh, p. 20. (Hereafter cited as Naveh.)
121 Al-Karmi also claimed that the restaurateurs were undercover intelligence agents. Israel claimed at the time that Thabet had been involved in attacks against Israeli targets. Human Rights Watch wrote to the government of Israel on January 29, 2001 requesting evidence for this allegation but did not receive a response. See Human Rights Watch press release and letter, "Israel: End `Liquidation' of Palestinian Suspects," January 29, 2001.
122 Greg Myre, "Palestinians Die in Airstrike" Associated Press Online, September 6, 2001.
123 See "Arafat's Documents,Continuation" Document 2, IDF at http://www.idf.il/arafat/english/index1.htm (accessed September 25, 2002).
124 Virginia Quirke, "Militants avenge Israeli killing; Fatah group calls off ceasefire after leader's death, fuelling new upsurge in violence," Guardian (London), January 15, 2002.
125 Graham Usher, "Ending the phony cease-fire," Middle East International, January 25, 2002, p. 4.
126 This document was among those seized by Israeli authorities in the takeover of the Orient House in east Jerusalem in August 2001. Human Rights Watch obtained a poor copy of the original, identified as Appendix A, "Palestinian Authority Captured Documents, Main Implications," IDF 688/0010, April 7, 2002.
127 Abayat was named by "security sources" as responsible for the February 11, 2001 roadside shooting of electrician Tzahi Sasson on the Jerusalem-Gush Etzion Tunnel Road. See Arieh O'Sullivan, Margot Dudkevitch, and Etgar Lefkovits, "Hiker killed in terror ambush; Tanzim fugitive dies in Bethlehem blast; Shots, mortars fired on Gilo," Jerusalem Post, October 19, 2001.
128 Greg Myre, "Israel says seized document shows Arafat paying militant wanted by Israel," Associated Press, March 21, 2002. "Arafat is too clever to use written documents that would link him to attacks," said Boaz Ganor, head of the Israel-based International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism, commenting on this document. "He knows how to incite people, how to create the atmosphere, but in a way that doesn't directly point to him."
129 Nasser Yusuf Abu Hamid (Ramallah) was alleged to have participated in the "direction of suicide attacks inside Israel", Tareq Muhammad Daud and Sharif Muhammad Abu Hamid were alleged to have also been involved in planning suicide attacks. Their names occur on a list of Tanzim members signed by Marwan Barghouti November 7, 2000; no request for payment was made. See Document 4 of "Additional Captured Documents Reveal Again the System of Money Transfers to Terrorist Squads, Personally Authorized by Yasser Arafat, with the Deep Involvement of Marwan Barghouti," IDF TR6-498-02, 24 June 2002. Obtained by Human Rights Watch from the Office of the Prime Minister of Israel. Ashraf Yusuf Hamed Bani Jabr and Ibrahim Mahmud `Abdul-Rahman Diriyah were alleged to be involved in attempts to send "suicide terrorists" into Israel. Their names appear in a request for financial aid dated July 19, 2001; the date of their alleged involvement in the attacks is not specified. There is no indication that the request was approved. See Document 7 "Additional Captured Documents Reveal."
See "The Involvement of Arafat, PA Senior Officials and Apparatuses in Terrorism Against Israel, Corruption and Crime," Chapter II, Document 3 at http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/go.asp?MFAH0lom0 (accessed September 20, 2002). An undated request for assistance was made on behalf of Firas Sabri Fa'iz, who allegedly participated in the murder of two Israeli restaurateurs in January 2001. There is no indication of approval.
130 See in particular, "International Financial Aid to the Palestinian Authority Redirected to Terrorist Elements," IDF TR2-317-02, May 26, 2002.
131 Todd S. Purdum and Patrick E. Tyler, "Aides to Bush Say Arafat Financed a Terrorist Group," New York Times, June 26, 2002.
132 IDF Communique, "Yasser Arafat's "Mukata'a" Compound in Ramallah - A Center for Controlling and Supporting Terrorism," April 2, 2002 at http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/go.asp?MFAH0lg70, (September 20, 2002). Note that original text spelled al-Aksa Brigades and Fu′ad Shoubaki differently.
133 "Arafat and the PA's Involvement in Terrorism (According to Captured Documents)," Appendix B, Document 1, IDF 688/0018, April 22, 2002. Human Rights obtained a hard copy from the Office of the Prime Minister, Jerusalem.
137 Shubaki, at the time of writing, was one of six Palestinian prisoners detained under international supervision in Jericho as a result of alleged involvement in the Karine-A affair, an attempt to smuggle weapons banned under the Oslo Accords into PA areas. For a summary of Israeli allegations against Shubaki, see http://www.idf.il/project1/english/index.stm (accessed October 11, 2002).
138 Several partial renditions of this document have been made public by the Israeli government. A complete but poor translation of the Arabic original is available from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs at http://www.israel-mfa.gov.il/mfa/go.asp?MFAH0llo0. Translated by Human Rights Watch.
139 According to statistics compiled by B'Tselem, PA security forces gunfire was responsible for a total of ten Israeli civilian deaths inside Israel and none in the West Bank or Gaza.
140 The statement claimed that Tirawi "personally directed" Mustafa Mardi, a PFLP activist captured on June 11, to carry out shooting attacks. Mardi allegedly confessed that he had participated in several attacks, including the kidnapping and murder of a teenager from the Pisgat Zeev settlement. Mardi also allegedly confessed that Tirawi had given him a rifle and assigned him to a cell of armed activists in the Ramallah area. Tirawi responded that "the entire Shin Bet statement is a lie from A to Z," and that the GIS had itself arrested Mardi in the past. See Amos Harel, "Israel is targeting Tirawi as a wanted man," Ha'aretz, July 3, 2002.
141 "Operation Defensive Wall datainees demonstrate unequivocally the involvement of the PA General Intelligence in direct and indirect assistance to terrorist activities," IDF Captured Document (undated), circa April 2002, http://www.idf.il/Involvment/english/main_index.stm (accessed May 30, 2002)."
142 Ziad Da`as was killed by Israeli forces in Tulkarem on August 8, 2002. There are varying accounts as to whether he was assassinated or executed, as Palestinian witnesses told local journalists, or whether he had been shot while trying to escape. See Duluth News-Tribune, August 8, 2002 (accessed October 8, 2002).
143 The memo does not bear any indication of circulation or approval. Of some seventy different documents made public by Israel that Human Rights Watch has examined, including documents provided by Israeli officials in response to Human Rights Watch's request for the strongest available evidence of systematic PA involvement in, or support for, suicide bombings against civilians, it is the only one that indicates such involvement by the PA authorities.
144 For example, during an IDF arrest raid in Artas, near Bethlehem, on January 29, 2002.
145 Human Rights Watch interview, Jenin refugee camp, June 11, 2002. The term mukhabarat is frequently used to refer generically to state security agencies as well as to formally designated intelligence agencies. Abu Rumaila noted that several attacks had been launched from Jenin against the nearby Israeli town of Afula in response, he said, to Israeli attacks. The IDF website cites, but does not provide, a captured document about a suicide bomb attack in Afula "in which PA intelligence apparatus activists from Jenin were involved together with the PIJ [Islamic Jihad]."
146 Human Rights Watch interview, Dheisheh refugee camp, June 13, 2002. An example of those who have left the employ of the PA security services to work with the armed activists is Jamal Abu Samhandanah, a former police major who is now a leader in the Popular Resistance Committee in Gaza. See the Observer (London), February 23, 2002.
147 Lee Hockstader and Daniel Williams, "Mideast fighting intensifies; Both sides vow more," Washington Post, March 6, 2002.
148 One al-Aqsa Brigades statement at the time the IDF launched Operation Defensive Shield "call[ed] on all members of the Palestinian security services to join the ranks of the Brigades." The statement also referred to the Brigades as being "under the leadership of Marwan Barghuti." See "Al-Aqsa Brigades call for unity, name Barghuti as leader for first time," Agence France-Presse, April 1, 2002.
149 See "Document 1" and "Document 2" http://www.idf.il/english/announcements/2002/april/Fatah_Activists/3.stm (accessed October 10, 2002).
150 For an account of this incident see Human Rights Watch, Center of the Storm, pp. 63-65.
152 See "IDF kills head of military wing Tanzim in the Hebron area," April 22, 2002 at http://www.israel-mfa.gov.il/mfa/go.asp?MFAH0llk0 (accessed October 10, 2002). This summarizes IDF allegations against Zallum.
153 See "The PA employs in its Ranks Fatah Activists Involved in Terrorism and Suicide Attacks" at http://www.idf.il./english/announcements/2002/april/Fatah_Activists/1.stm (accessed October 11, 2002).
154 Israel considers all political violence directed against Israelis to constitute terrorism, without regard to the civilian or military nature of those targeted.
155 Devorah Chen, the prosecutor in the trial of Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti, has said that the Israeli government's case would be based on, among other things, testimony of `Awais and other captured militants. See "Palestinian leader indicted on terror charges," Associated Press, August 14, 2002.
156 Human Rights Watch interviews, names withheld on request, June 2002.
157 "The Palestinian Authority Employs in its Ranks Fatah Activists Involved in Terrorism and Suicide Attacks" at http://www.idf.il./english/announcements/2002/april/Fatah_Activists/1.stm (accessed October 11, 2002).
158 Mohammed Daraghmeh, "Palestinian Group: Attacks Won't Stop," Associated Press, March 22, 2002.
159 See Mohammed Daraghmeh, "Link to the Fatah movement is spiritual, not organizational.... The al-Aqsa Brigades: Palestinian blood to answer Israeli explosives" (in Arabic). Arab Media Internet Network, March 23, 2002 at http://www.amin.org/mohammed.daraghmeh/2002/mar/mar23.html (accessed on September, 8 2002).
160 "Nablus, the Infrastructure Center for Palestinian Terrorism," IDF Document, Appendix G, http://www.idf.il/arafat/schem/english/main_index.stm, April 2002 (accessed September 30, 2002). Tirawi and Masimi are both listed as being "alive" and "operational" as of April 2002. Jamal Tirawi, according to the IDF, is a cousin of West Bank GIS chief Tawfiq Tirawi.
162 Some reports link the Battalions of the Return with dissident Fatah leaders based in Lebanon, while others suggest that it may be an offshoot of Islamic Jihad.
163 Human Rights Watch interviews, February 4, 2002, Salfit.
164 "Arafat and the PA's Involvement in Terrorism According to Captured Documents," Appendix B, Document 3, IDF, April 22, 2002.
165 Ibid. Translated by Human Rights Watch.
166 The Cooperation Between Fatah and the PA Security Apparatuses with PIJ and Hamas in the Jenin Area. IDF document no. 688/0011, TR3-268-02, April 9, 2002. Hard copy obtained by Human Rights from the office of the Prime Minister of Israel. Also see "The PA and the Fatah Security Apparatuses in the Jenin area closely cooperate with Islamic Jihad and Hamas" at http://www.idf.il/jenin/site/english/main_index.stm.
167 Nayif Sweitat, Jamal's brother and himself a Fatah leader in Jenin, told Human Rights Watch that the document's allegation was "not true" and "part of a mukhabarat [GIS] effort to discredit Preventive Security." Human Rights Watch interview, Jenin city, June 11, 2002.
168 "The Involvement of Arafat, PA Senior Officials and Apparatuses in Terrorism Against Israel, Corruption and Crime (The Naveh File)", p. 32 at http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/go.asp?MFAH0lom0.
169 Human Rights Watch, The Sixth Division: Military-Paramilitary Ties and U.S. Policy in Colombia (Human Rights Watch, New York, September 2001).