RAMALLAH – United States-run programs that train militias from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah organization have been utilized to kill Jews and were instrumental in the “success” of the Palestinian intifada that began in 2000, a senior Fatah militant trained by the U.S. told WND.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas
“I do not think that the operations of the Palestinian resistance would have been so successful and would have killed more than 1,000 Israelis since 2000 and defeated the Israelis in Gaza without these [American] trainings,” said Abu Yousuf, a senior officer of Abbas’ Force 17 Presidential Guard unit in Ramallah.
The U.S. has long run training programs at a base in the West Bank city of Jericho for members of Force 17, which serves as de facto police units in the West Bank, and for the Palestinian Preventative Security Services, another major Fatah security force.
This weekend diplomatic security officials announced the State Department will begin training Force 17 again this year in an effort to bolster Abbas against Hamas, which took over the Gaza Strip in June when the terror group easily defeated U.S.-backed Fatah forces in the territory.
Under an agreement signed this month by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, Force 17 officers are slated to take course work and conduct VIP protection exercises under the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security.
The new training program aims to help the PA “deliver security for the Palestinian people and fight terrorism, build confidence between the parties, and ultimately help to meet the security needs of Palestinians and Israelis alike,” a State Department press release said.
The training program, which includes courses in the use of weapons, is paid for by $86.5 million in U.S. tax dollars granted to the PA by Congress in April.
Many members of Force 17 and the Preventative Security Services also openly serve in the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Fatah’s declared “military wing,” which took credit along with the Islamic Jihad terror group for every suicide bombing in Israel in 2005 and 2006. Statistically, the Brigades is responsible for more terrorism from the West Bank than any other Palestinian organization.
Yousuf received U.S. training in Jericho in 1999 as a member of the Preventative Security Services. He is a chief of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in Ramallah, where he is accused of participating in anti-Israel terrorism, including recent shootings, attacks against Israeli forces operating in the city and a shooting attack in northern Samaria in December 2000 that killed Benyamin Kahane, leader of the ultranationalist Kahane Chai organization.
After the Kahane murder, Yousuf was extended refuge by Yasser Arafat to live in the late PLO leader’s Ramallah compound, widely known as the Muqata. Yousuf still lives in the compound.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert last month granted Yousuf amnesty along with 178 other Brigades leaders reportedly as a gesture to Abbas.
Speaking during a sit-down exclusive interview for the upcoming book “Schmoozing with Terrorists,” Yousuf said his American training sessions were instrumental in killing Jews:
“All the methods and techniques that we studied in these trainings, we applied them against the Israelis,” he said.
“We sniped at Israeli settlers and soldiers. We broke into settlements and Israeli army bases and posts. We collected information on the movements of soldiers and settlers. We collected information about the best timing to infiltrate our bombers inside Israel. We used weapons and we produced explosives, and of course the trainings we received from the Americans and the Europeans were a great help to the resistance.”
Yousuf describing his U.S.-provided training:
“I myself received American trainings in Jericho. Together with my Preventative comrades, I received trainings in intelligence methods and military trainings. In the intelligence part, we learned collection of information regarding suspected persons, how to follow suspected guys, how to infiltrate organizations and penetrate cells of groups that we were working on and how to prevent attacks and to steal in places.
“On the military level, we received trainings on the use of weapons, all kind of weapons and explosives. We received sniping trainings, work of special units especially as part of what they call the fight against terror. We learned how to put siege, how to break into places where our enemies closed themselves in, how to oppress protest movements, demonstrations and other activities of opposition.
“We also learned to discover agents that Israel tried to plant in our cells,” he said.
Yousuf stressed he “isn’t talking about U.S. training in order to irritate the Americans or the Israelis and not in order to create provocations. I’m just telling you the truth. We applied against Israel all that we learned from the Americans.”
Are you a representative of the media who would like to interview the author of this story? Let us know.