By Amos Harel, Ha'aretz Correspondent
Thursday, May 02, 2002
The head of the Fatah movement in the West Bank, Marwan Barghouti, told Shin Bet security service interrogators Thursday that he had been involved in planning terror attacks, in which dozens of Israeli civilians were wounded or killed.
Barghouti was arrested on April 15 during the IDF's "Operation Defensive Shield."
According to Shin Bet sources, Barghouti explained how funds were channeled from Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat to those carrying out the attacks.
The Shin Bet said that by questioning Barghouti and other senior Fatah officials, it has become clear that Arafat authorized the transfer of monies to Fatah activists with the knowledge that it was to be used for terror attacks.
Similarly, they said, PA weapons storage facilities were used to provide arms for the activists.
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In other news reported by Haaretz, flashing victory signs and giving a thumbs-up, Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat emerged from his headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Thursday, hours after IDF troops withdrew from the compound and released the Palestinian leader from months of confinement.
Arafat was greeted by a cheering crowd of hundreds of Palestinians as he walked out of his office building where he had been confined to a few rooms by IDF troops for more than a month.
Aides steadied the 72-year-old Arafat as he walked down a small flight of steps to a waiting black limousine.
The Palestinian leader smiled as the crowd chanted, "With our spirit and our blood, we will redeem you, oh Arafat."