Yasser Arafat’s Palestinian Authority has been exploring the development and use of biological weapons, according to a report today in the PA’s official weekly newspaper, Al-Manar.

The report, titled “Will We Reach the Option of Biological Deterrence?” and signed by “The Palestinian Center for Information Sources-Gaza,” states that “serious thinking has begun awhile ago about obtaining biological weapons.”

“Due to the seriously uneven balance of power in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and in light of the escalation of the racist aggression, which elevates to the level of a war declaration, by the Sharon government … the Palestinian side is required to use weapons of deterrence that will even the balance of power, at least on the field,” said the report, translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute.

The report continues: “While the human-bombs (a reference to suicide bombers) may be followed (and maybe stopped by) preventive measures … serious thinking has begun for a while about developing a Palestinian weapon of deterrence. This weapon terrifies the Israeli security apparatuses, from time to time, mainly because obtaining its primary components, whether biological or chemical, is possible without too much effort, let alone the fact that there are hundreds of experts who are capable of handling them and use them as weapons of deterrence, thus creating a balance of horror in the equation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.”

The article appeared to advocate strongly the development and deployment of such weapons.

“A few bombs or death-carrying devices will be enough, once they are deployed in secluded areas and directed at the Israeli water resources or the Israeli beaches, let alone the markets and the residential centers,” the report said. “[This will be carried out] without explosions, noise, blood, or pictures that are used to serve the Israeli propaganda. Anyone who is capable, with complete self-control, of turning his body into shrapnel and scattered organs, is also capable of carrying a small device that cannot be traced and throw it in the targeted location.”

The Palestinian Center for Information Sources-Gaza was directed by Jihad Al-Wazir, the son of Abu Jihad, former second in command for Arafat and head of the PLO’s military forces. In the past, the Center received U.S. aid. Once the aid was stopped, the center’s control was passed to the Palestinian Journalists Association, and it is now managed by Deputy Chairman Taufiq Abu-Khosa, who also wrote the article.

The Middle East Media Research Institute is an independent, non-profit organization that translates and analyzes the media of the Middle East.

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