Arafat's finance man, Fuad Shabaki after his release from Prison

Early Monday, Israel released an 83-year-old Fatah official, Fuad Shubaki, the oldest of the security prisoners in Israeli prison, after spending 17 years behind bars. Shubaki served as the head of the finance department of the General Security Mechanism in the Palestinian Authority as well as As the financier of the former chairman of the Authority, Yasser Arafat, who somehow died with over eight billion dollars in his bank.

Shubaki promoted many terrorist attacks, and he is considered the mastermind behind the attempt to smuggle the weapons ship "Karin A" into the Gaza Strip back in the early 2000s. He was transferred for a Shin Bet investigation on March 14, 2006, after he was caught planning a PLO operation to break into the Jericho prison, where he was imprisoned, along with the murderers of Minister Rehabam Ze'evi, under international supervision starting in May 2002. The court sentenced him to 20 years in prison, which was later reduced to 17 years.

The Palestinian media reported that during his years in Israeli prisons, he was referred to by the prisoners accused of terrorism as "Sheikh of the prisoners" and "Captain of the prisoners' ship". This was due partly to the fact that many prisoners would turn to him for advice due to his "life experience". 

The Democratic Front for the liberation of Palestine welcomed his release: "The issue of Palestinian prisoners is one of the most important and central national issues in the struggle of the Palestinian people and their ongoing struggle against the occupation and for their freedom." The organization also stated that "there is no freedom for our people as long as there is even one prisoner in Israeli prisons. The organization continues to support the measures of the prisoners' struggle against the prison administrations and against the repressive measures of the racist minister Itamar Ben Gvir."

During his investigation by the Shin Bet, Shubaki admitted that "from September 2000, Arafat decided to budget for the purchase of large-scale weapons in a two-year budget of up to 10 million dollars for Gaza, and an additional 2 million dollars for the West Bank."

He stated that the money for the procurement of the military equipment came from international aid funds, tax money transferred from Israel, funds from Arab countries, and money from taxes in the Gaza Strip. According to his estimation, an amount ranging from 7 to 10 million dollars was taken from the PA's funds every two years for the procurement of military equipment for the Gaza Strip, and two million dollars for the purchase of weapons in the West Bank.

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