Israel will shortly put Marwan Barghouti on trial in an Israeli criminal court on charges of premeditated murder, abetting murder, soliciting murder, attempted murder, conspiring to commit crimes, being active in a terrorist organization, and belonging to a terrorist organization. The trial will begin Thursday, September 5, 2002, and is certain to attract prominent media coverage. Below is background information about Barghouti and his links to terror. For more information on Barghouti's victims, click here.
Information on Marwan and Ahmed Barghouti (Communicated by the IDF Spokesman)
April 15, 2002 Marwan Hatib Barghouti - Ramallah
On April 14, 2002 an IDF force in Ramallah arrested Marwan Barghouti, head of the Fatah supreme committee in the West Bank and leader of the military wing of the Al-Aqsa Brigades, which between September 2000 - April 2002 carried out thousands of terror attacks against Israel, including suicide bombings.
1. Marwan Barghouti Served as Secretary General of Fatah in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, a member of the Palestinian legislature, head of the Tanzim, and the founder of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades which has carried out a large number of deadly terrorist attacks killing scores of Israelis and wounding hundreds.
2. In the framework of his activities, he has received large amounts of funds from different sources both inside and outside Israel. Among these sources is the Palestinian Authority. The specific allocations of these funds were authorized by the actual signature of Yassser Arafat. These funds were used by Marwan Barghouti to finance many activities carried out by terror cells in the West Bank.
3. Marwan Barghouti served as the most senior official in the Al-Aqsa Brigades. Nasser Avis, who was recently captured in Samaria, and Ahmed Barghouti, who was Marwan Barghouti's personal assistant, reported directly to him. These two served as his operational officers and, under the initiative of Marwan Barghouti, launched dozens of attacks, including a large number of suicide bombings within Israel.
4. The following are some of the more heinous terror attacks for which Marwan Barghouti is responsible:
Jun 12, 2001 - The murder of a Greek Orthodox monk on the road to Ma'ale Adumim.
Jan 17, 2002 - The shooting attack during a bat mitzva celebration at a banquet hall in Hadera. Six Israelis were killed in this attack, 26 were injured.
Jan 22, 2002 - The shooting spree on Jaffa Street in Jerusalem. Two Israelis were killed, 37 wounded.
Feb 25, 2002 - The shooting attack in the Jerusalem residential neighborhood of Neve Ya'acov. One Israeli policewoman was killed, 9 Israelis were wounded.
Feb 27, 2002 - The murder of an Israeli at a coffee factory in the Atarot industrial zone of Jerusalem. Feb 27, 2002 - The suicide attack perpetrated by Daryan Abu Aysha at the Maccabim checkpoint in which two policeman were injured.
March 5, 2002 - The shooting spree at the Tel Aviv Seafood restaurant. Three Israelis were killed, 31 wounded.
March 8, 2002 - A suicide terrorist was killed in Daheat el Barid as he was on his way to carry out an attack in Jerusalem.
March 27, 2002 - The interception of an ambulance and the confiscation of an explosive belt which was being smuggled from Samaria into Barghouti's terrorist infrastructure in Ramallah.
Marwan Barghouti was also directly responsible for operating the terrorist cell of Raed Karmi in Tulkaram, which carried out a series of deadly terrorist attacks.
In a September 29, 2001 interview to the “Al Hayat” newspaper, published in London, Barghouti exposed his role in igniting the “Al-Aqsa Intifada.” Following are selected excerpts from the newspaper article, including quotations by Barghouti as told to the reporter Hashem Abdallah:
“I knew that the end of the month of September  would be the last opportunity before the explosion, but when Sharon arrived at the Al Aqsa Mosque it was the strongest (most suitable) moment for the breakout of the Intifada. This is because the subject concerns Jerusalem, and even more it regards Al Aqsa. The meaning of this - setting fire to the entire region and specifically [due to the fact] that the issue of Al Aqsa inflames and ignites the sensibilities of the masses.”
“On the eve of Sharon's visit I participated in a TV panel, on a local TV station. I found this to be the right opportunity to call upon the public to go to Al Aqsa on the following morning because it is not possible for Sharon to arrive at the Temple Mount [El-Haram Al-Sharif] 'just like that' and walk away peacefully. I was determined, and early the next morning I went to Al-Aqsa…Sincerely, when I arrived at the area of the mosque, I was surprised by the people who had arrived. The gathering there consisted entirely of Palestinians of 1948, eight of them Israeli-Arab members of the parliament and over 60 other well-known people. I was dissatisfied with the small attendance and when friction did not occur, I became angry. We tried to create friction, but with no success - due to conflicts of opinions that emerged with other people surrounding the friction created at the Al Aqsa square at the time.”
“We did not need a war. The issue is completely different. War breaks out according to the decision of the president or the commander of the military. The Intifada however, was not ignited by a person or a group of people, but it evolved from reaching deeply into the feeling of the masses. There were those who were opposed to the conflict. At the same time, I saw within the situation a historic opportunity to ignite the conflict. The strongest conflict is the one that initiated from Jerusalem due to the sensitivity of the city, its uniqueness and its special place in the hearts of the masses who are willing to sacrifice themselves [for her] with not even thinking of the cost.”
“After Sharon left, I had stayed in the area for two hours with other well known people and we spoke about the character of the reaction and of how people should react in all the towns and villages and not only in Jerusalem. We made contact with all the factions.”
Barghouti made it clear that he did not leave Jerusalem until the early hours of Thursday evening - Friday morning, after speaking and consulting with operatives of the Fatah's Shabiba organization [Fatah youths]. The Shabiba organization distributed a proclamation on Wednesday, the eve of Sharon's visit, calling upon the public to disapprove of the visit. The contacts, which included members of the Fatah organization dealt with one thing: the character of the reaction of the following day, Friday, September 29, 2000 - a day that will forever be remembered and inscribed in the minds of this entire generation, as the day on which the Intifada was ignited and turned inside-out and upside-down the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations of the last 10 years and the fragile peace process.When Barghouti left Jerusalem that same night, he knew very well that he would return there in several hours. He returned on Friday morning in order to witness the outbreak of the Intifada.
“When I arrived to the Old City, the conflict had started already and no-one could either enter or leave. I went towards Salah A-Din Street and it was closed. I then went to the area of A-Tur to the hospital Elmakuasad in order to examine the condition of the hurt and the wounded. When we came near the area, the conflict arrived there. Close to 3,000 people barricaded the area.”
“The situation was war. By definition. Now, more then ever I felt as if the city of Jerusalem was burning. I also felt that there was a good Jerusalemite and Palestinian response. Through the media I called to turn the next day into a day of solidarity with Jerusalem.”
The same evening Barghouti went to area of the Arab Triangle within Israel, where he was supposed to attend a convention. Concerning this, he said:
“While we were in the vehicle on our way to the Arab Triangle, I prepared a proclamation on behalf of the high Fatah committee in coordination with the brothers [apparently the Hamas] in which we called upon [the people] to react to what happened in Jerusalem. When I came back to Ramallah I continued the talks with the contacts I had gathered around me regarding the character of our activity and the continuation of the reaction.”
Barghouti makes it clear that matters had not yet been fully established, though the reaction on the last Saturday of the month of September tipped the scales in the other directions, and no-one could do anything, even though pressures were operated, in order to stop the human flood on all the conquered lands.
25 April 2002
Marwan Barghouti's Connection to Terror
(Communicated by the IDF Spokesman)
Muhammad Abdullah, a taxi driver from Bir-Nabalah and a Tanzim-Fatah operative, who was arrested during Operation Defensive Shield, related during questioning that he committed the shooting attack on the French Hill-Ramot road in Jerusalem, in which an Israeli woman was killed, on the request of Marwan Barghouti. In addition he participated in aiding the infiltration of a terrorist who carried out a shooting attack on Jaffa Street in Jerusalem, in which two Israelis were killed. Muhammad said that after Raed Karmi was killed, Barghouti demanded that his cell members carry out a revenge terrorist attack that same day. They received this instruction from his assistant and right-hand man, Ahmed Barghouti. A few hours later the cell members carried out a shooting attack on an Israeli vehicle near a gas station in Givat Ze'ev, in which one Israeli woman was killed and another injured.
Additional information discovered during the questioning of several Tanzim operatives detained in Operation Defensive Shield points to the direct involvement of Marwan Barghouti in terror, as expressed among others in his ordering of terror attacks, the funding of terrorist activity and the supply of weapons to the terrorists.
Following are several examples:
Bilal Barghouti — resident of Beit Rima, senior Hamas operative arrested by IDF forces in the Preventative Intelligence Headquarters in Bitunia. He related that during the time he was wanted by the Israelis he lived a short while in Marwan Barghouti's house. During his stay there he saw a number of weapons, and when he left the house Barghouti armed him with a gun for his use.
Amir Abu Radha — resident of Ramallah, Tanzim operative, related that he participated in many shooting attacks against Israeli security forces and against Israeli villages near Ramallah. He also related that he and his terrorist cell received extensive logistical aid in the purchase of weapons and ammunition, as well as paychecks from Marwan Barghouti.
Haitam Hamdan — resident of Beit-Sira, military operative in the Al-Aqsa brigades, who was arrested by IDF forces in the Preventative Intelligence building in Bitunia, and who was involved in two shooting attacks on the Atarot road, related that he received assistance and guidance in his activities directly from Ahmed Barghouti, with the knowledge of Marwan Barghouti.
Excerpts from Barghouti's charge sheet:
11. a. The accused was involved in the acquisition of firearms and other incendiary weapons, including assault rifles, explosive belts, mortars, hand grenades, etc. for the purpose of perpetrating terrorist acts.
The accused also financed the purchase of weapons supplied by Achmed Leziar Hammuda, an activist who was, inter alia, involved in the murder of two Israeli soldiers who were lynched in the Ramallah police station. Ziyad Hammuda, together with other terrorists, used these weapons to commit several shooting attacks on the village of Psagot.
In addition, the accused financed the acquisition of a mortar for Natzer Abu Hamid, who used it to carry out a failed attack.
b. The accused coordinated a wide range of finance-related activities for the purpose of acquiring weapons from various sources based on written and verbal requests for these supplies from field commanders and terror activists. The accused was involved in procuring finances by referring the above requests together with his recommendations to Yasser Arafat and other sources.
In addition, in certain instances the accused was involved in financing the procurement of weaponry as per requests received from his own sources.
The above activities, in which the accused was involved, provided field commanders and terror activists with access to finances for the purpose of acquiring weapons to be used in perpetrating terrorist attacks.
c. A case in point was a request by a terror activist, Jihad Je'ara, for the accused to finance activities for the purpose of perpetrating an act of terror.
The accused referred Je'ara to Achmed, who then informed the accused that Je'ara intended to carry out a terrorist attack in Jerusalem. The accused authorized the attack, but requested that the attack not be carried out within Israel. On the morning of 26.03.02, the terrorists who conspired with Je'ara to perpetrate an act of terror at Jerusalem's Malcha Shopping Mall set out to intentionally cause the death of many Israelis.
The mission failed as the terrorists were apprehended by IDF soldiers at one of the checkpoints on the road to Jerusalem. One of the terrorists was shot.
12. The accused controlled the field commanders and terror activists by providing financial support and meeting the various needs of these groups, including subsistence and living expenses.
In this capacity, the accused devised a system whereby most requests for financial assistance were referred to him verbally or in writing by the field commanders and terror activists. The accused examined the requests and gave priority to requests for assistance to activists who had already committed acts of terror against Israel, including those declared by Israel to be wanted terrorists, or who had been injured during one of these attacks.
In some instances, the accused instructed his financial people, including Ali Barghouti, as to which requests to approve and determined the amount to be paid.
In other instances the accused referred requests endorsed with his recommendation to Yasser Arafat, who decided whether to approve the request and determined the amount to be paid.
The accused also handled requests to promote activists within the organizational framework of the terrorist groups as well as requests to place activists in prominent positions in the various sub-organizations financed by Yasser Arafat.
In providing financial backing and promoting activists according to the priorities as detailed above, the accused coaxed, encouraged and laid the groundwork for activists to dedicate themselves exclusively to committing acts of terror while being relieved of the burden of supporting their families. For his role in backing terrorists financially, as well as promoting and instigating terrorist activity, the accused is responsible for increasing acts of terror against Israel.
13. a. The accused's actions caused increased motivation and willingness by terrorist organization members to commit acts of terror against Israel by coaxing and encouraging them with speeches of incitement against the State of Israel in the various media and at gatherings, as well as via the distribution of seditious printed material.
The accused used the above speeches and printed proclamations to call for acts of revenge against Israel, to praise and glorify all those involved in committing acts of terror against Israeli targets, and to confer “holy martyrdom” on terrorists injured while perpetrating these terror attacks.
In reaction to the attempts of Israel's security forces to wipe out terrorist activities, the accused declared that terrorists (whom he called “heroes”), “would burst into Israeli cities and commit hit after hit,” with the aim of undermining the Israeli population's sense of security. The accused led numerous mass demonstrations attended by terrorist organization activists, many of whom were armed.
During these demonstrations participants made a habit of confronting IDF soldiers with disturbances and violence with the intention of provoking seditious incitement and to encourage other activists to enlist into the ranks of the terror organizations.
For more on Barghouti, see articles on the Israeli Government Foreign Ministry site or the IDF site.