“Arafat’s a billionaire”

August 14, 2002

* This is an update to the July 30 dispatch Arafat's missing millions



1. Arafat's billions
2. Lavish shopping sprees
3. "Arafat bombs, Europe pays"
4. U.S. aid money used to glorify murderer of Israelis and an American
5. "Arafat has $2.4bn, parliament told" (The Australian, August 14, 2002)
6. "What $1.3b could do" (Jerusalem Post, August 14, 2002)
7. "US money for a Palestinian girls' school, named for a terrorist who murdered 36 Israelis and an American" (Palestinian Media Watch Bulletin, August 7, 2002)

[Note by Tom Gross]


According to the report below, Yasser Arafat's wealth (donated by Arab and European Union countries among others) is greater than that of Jeff Bezos, founder and chairman of Amazon.com (Bezos is worth $1.23 billion, according to Fortune magazine). Arafat's fortune could feed 3 million Palestinians for an entire year, buy 1,000 mobile intensive care units, fund 10 hospitals for 10 years, and still leave $585m to fund other social projects, according to the report.


There are regular reports in the French media (not attached here) about Arafat's wife's lavish shopping sprees in Paris. On June 5, the Kuwaiti daily Al-Watan published documents it received from a Cairo branch of a Middle Eastern bank showing that Arafat had deposited $5.1 million into his personal account for his wife and daughter, who live in Paris and Switzerland. According to the report, the money came from Arab aid funds that had been allocated for the Palestinian people.


While European Union leaders such as commissioner Chris Patten continue to claim ignorance, and most European papers don't seem to think it is worth writing about, the German newspaper Die Zeit (on June 7, 2002) ran a special investigation, headlined "Arafat Bombs, Europe Pays". The paper probed into Arafat's use of the 4.1 billion euros he has been given by the EU during the last few years, and concludes that some of it has been used to finance suicide attacks.


I also attach the Palestinian Media Watch Bulletin (August 7, 2002), based on a report in the Palestinian daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, on July 30 2002. US aid money is being used to renovate the Dalal Mughrabi girls' high school in Gaza. Dalal Mughrabi is the terrorist who on March 11, 1978, participated in the murder of 36 Israelis and an American nature photographer, Gail Ruban, in a shooting spree along the Haifa-Tel Aviv highway.

-- Tom Gross



Arafat has $2.4bn, parliament told
The Australian (one of Australia's leading daily newspapers)
August 14, 2002

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has financial assets estimated at $US1.3 billion ($2.41 billion), army intelligence chief Major General Aharon Zeevi has told the Israeli parliament.

Arafat had made his fortune through a "monopoly on importing" in the Palestinian territories, Zeevi told the parliament's foreign affairs and defence committee.

However, he said Arafat's financial adviser, Mohammad Rashid, had imposed "a bit of order into the Palestinian Authority's accounts".

Israel has accused Arafat of both corrupt financial practices and sponsoring attacks on Israel, while its main ally, the United States, has demanded a new Palestinian leadership.

Since Israel upped its military campaign against Palestinian militants in the spring, Arafat's popularity has dropped inside his own political movement Fatah and among the general population, Zeevi said. But despite it all, Arafat continues "to pull all the strings," he added



What $1.3b could do
By Tal Muscal
The Jerusalem Post
August 14, 2002

With wealth greater than that of Jeff Bezos, founder and chairman of Amazon.com ($1.23 billion, according to Fortune magazine), Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat could pour his money into new housing, hospitals, and health care.

For $1.3 billion, 40,625 six-family dwellings could be built for PA residents ($32,000 per unit).

It could feed 3 million Palestinians for an entire year, and leave $892 million to be spent on 1,000 mobile intensive care units ($69,900 each), as well as funding for 10 hospitals, such as Gaza's Ahli Arab Hospital, for 10 years, leaving $585m. to fund other social projects such as:

Computerization of 10 hospitals at a cost of $4.57m.

The annual salaries of 10,000 medical employees ($4,200 each).

Hepatitis vaccinations for 3 million PA residents ($11.25 per injection).

The price quotes are based on statistics of NGOs providing humanitarian assistance to the PA, presented by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.



"US money for a Palestinian girls' school, named for a terrorist who murdered 36 Israelis and an American"
By Itamar Marcus
Palestinian Media Watch Bulletin
August 7, 2002

The Unites States has been attempting to bypass the Palestinian Authority [PA] misuse of American financial aid by directly funding specific projects. However, even in these projects, US money can be used to promote terrorism in subtle but effective ways.

One of the ways a society teaches its children values is by glorifying chosen individuals. The PA as policy continues to glorify as heroes, terrorists who have killed the greatest number of Israelis, especially in educational structures for children.

Dalal Mughrabi is the woman terrorist who participated in the murder of 36 Israelis and an American nature photographer, Gail Ruban, in 1978. A girls' high school named for the terrorist "The Dalal Mughrabi School" is now being renovated with money from USAID through ANERA (American Near East Refugee Aid). A school named after a terrorist promotes murder and terrorism as positive values to children in general, and especially to those children studying in that school. US money is helping to support an educational structure that is inherently promoting terrorism and glorifying the murderer of an American.

This school's name is not an exception. Numerous schools, summer camps and sports teams are named for terrorist-murderers, including Ayyat al-Akhras, the woman suicide bomber, and symbols of violence continue to be used in educational and sport structures. The background poster of a UNICEF funded summer camp includes a gun.

The following are a series of recent news items, as they appeared in Palestinian sources, that demonstrate this Palestinian Authority policy of glorifying terrorists and violence and demonstrates the use of foreign money in some of these projects.

News Items on schools, summer camps, and sport team names:

1. Dalal Mughrabi the terrorist who participated in the bus hijacking and murder of 36 Israelis and American Gail Rubin, in 1978. USAID is renovating the Dalal Al- Mughrabi school.

News Item: "Announcement: Palestinian National Authority Ministry of Schools and Higher Education Hebron District"

"Building contract tender for the Dalal Mughrabi girls' high school [Al-Shuyukh village Hebron district] With funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through ANERA (American Near East Refugee Aid)"

The ad has the logos of the USAID, the Palestinian Authority and ANERA. [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida July 30 2002]

2. Ayyat al-Akhras The woman suicide bomber who killed a number of Israelis as she blew herself up in a supermarket in Jerusalem. The Palestinians named a children's summer camp in her name.

News Item: "Today the activities begin in the tenth Scouts summer camp, the Shahid -Seeker [suicide bomber]- Ayyat al-Akhras Camp. The camp's activities will last one week." [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 4, 2002]

3. Jihad al-Amarin commander of "Al-Aqsa Martyrs" terror organization, responsible for murder of numerous Israelis. The Palestinians named a children's summer camp in his name.

News Item: "Yesterday the first summer camp of the Fatah movement began its activities on the Gaza beach, with the participation of 150 children. The camp is named after the Shahid Jihad al-Amarein, commander of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in Gaza" [Al-Quds July 29, 2002]

4. Baha Sa'id Killed two Israeli soldiers in a terrorist attack. The Palestinians named a football [soccer] team in his name.

News Item: "Two great victories to the Shahid Baha Sai'd team in the Deir al-Balah Shahid football championship." [Al-Ayam July 26 2002]

5. Fuad al-Shubaki is responsible for attempting to smuggle a weapons ship with many tons of missiles and other illegal weapons from Iran to the Palestinian Authority. He is now held in jail. Calling for his freedom was chosen as the slogan for a summer camp.

News Item: "The Socialist Youth Group opened its third summer camp in Gaza, with the slogan "Freedom to the fighter Fuad al-Shubaki, The great fighter." [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida Aug. 4 2002]

6. The summer camp poster includes a gun in a UNICEF funded summer camp.

News Item: "The scouts organization held a ceremony marking the conclusion of the summer camp." [PA TV, July 29, 2002] On the TV screen in the background is one sign: "Camp funded by UNICEF" and on another are: "UNICEF", a Palestinian flag, and a tree holding a rifle. The UNICEF funded summer camp is likewise used to incite Palestinian children to hatred against Israel as the speeches broadcast from the camp ceremony were attacking Israel and did not deal with normal summer camp activities sports, culture etc.

All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.