PFLP plotted to kill Olmert, state claims (HA´ARETZ NEWS) By Arnon Regular 12/16/02)
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A Palestinian terrorist cell planned to assassinate Jerusalem Mayor
Ehud Olmert in a similar method to Rehavam Zeevi´s murder in October
2001. This is one of the charges presented to the Beit El military
tribunal in the trial of George Kurt, a Palestinian charged with
heading a cell of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
The cell´s Jerusalem members were assigned to gather information
about Olmert´s movements, with the intention of assassinating him.
For this purpose, they obtained revolvers and silencers, as they did
in Zeevi´s murder. Kurt´s driving license was used by the PFLP cell
which shot Zeevi.
The charges also say the PFLP cell was about to send a terrorist on a
suicide mission at the Jerusalem central bus terminal. Other missions
assigned to cell members were following police officers and watching
settlers´ houses in east Jerusalem.
Zeevi was murdered on October 16, 2001 at the entrance to his room on
the eighth floor of Jerusalem´s Hyatt Hotel. Two PFLP members -
Hamadi Koran and Basal Alahmar - who had rented a room in the hotel
three days earlier, ambushed the minister when he returned to his
room from breakfast and shot him. The two escaped and in May turned
themselves in to Yasser Arafat and were imprisoned in Jericho, under
the supervision of British and American wardens.
According to the charges, on October 24 Kurt, 33, met Samar Hanani,
17, who was to carry out a suicide mission in the Jerusalem bus
Kurt met Hanani near the central Library in Ramallah, led him to a
barber shop, gave him money and told him what hair cut to choose.
Then he took him to pray at a mosque in El Bireh and took Hanani´s
measurements, because he wanted the latter to wear an overall which
would cover his explosive belt. Hanani asked to have a chicken dinner
and at the entrance of the restaurant they were stopped by Israeli
Kurt was held in custody for almost a month before meeting his
lawyer, Leah Tsemel. At some point he began to cooperate and turned
in his fellow cell members from Jerusalem, Ismail Masalmani and Sabri
Abu Miala. The interrogation of all three shed a light on the cell´s
activities. In May 2002 Kurt went underground, trained PFLP activists
to put together fire bombs and located safe houses in Ramallah for
PFLP fugitives on the IDF´s wanted list during Operation "Defensive
(© Copyright 2002 Ha´aretz 12/16/02)
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