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PFLP plotted to kill Olmert, state claims (HA´ARETZ NEWS) By Arnon Regular 12/16/02) Source: http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=241360&contrassID=2&subContrassID=1&sbSubContrassID=0&listSrc=Y HA'ARETZ} NEWS SERVICE HA'ARETZ} NEWS SERVICE Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
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 terminal.

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 troops.

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 Shield." (© Copyright 2002 Ha´aretz 12/16/02)


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