RAMALLAH [MENL] — The United States has determined that Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat approved an attack on a U.S. embassy convoy in which three Americans were killed in 2003.
U.S. diplomatic sources said a U.S. investigation into the bombing of the embassy convoy in the Gaza Strip in October 2003 pointed to a clear role by Arafat. The sources said Arafat granted approval to a plan to strike U.S. interests in PA areas.
Arafat, the sources said, did not draft or approve any details for a Palestinian attack. But they said Arafat agreed to a proposal relayed by a high-level aide for the Palestinians to “pass a message” to the United States.
According to the sources, a senior Arafat aide and member of the Fatah Central Committee left Gaza City for Arafat’s headquarters in Ramallah in September 2003 to seek approval for a Palestinian attack on U.S. interests in the area. The Fatah official, described as a liasion between Arafat and Palestinian insurgents in the Gaza Strip, complained of U.S. policy toward the PA and Arabs.