Mastermind of 'Karine A' given 20 years

Military court says former Arafat aide Fuad Shubaki, 70, must be severely punished for his crimes.

karine a 248 88 (photo credit: AP)
karine a 248 88
(photo credit: AP)
Fuad Shubaki, Yasser Arafat's money man and the brains behind the Karine A weapons ship, was sentenced on Sunday by a military court to 20 years in prison. Shubaki was apprehended in 2006 during an IDF raid on the Jericho prison where he was being held together with Ahmed Sa'adat - leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - and the other assassins of former tourism minister Rehavam Ze'evi. Prior to his imprisonment in Jericho, Shubaki served as the chief financial officer for the Palestinian security forces and as such was the mastermind behind the Karine A weapons ship caught by the IDF loaded with advanced weaponry in the Red Sea in 2002 as it was making its way to the Gaza Strip. In addition to the light weaponry used by the Palestinians at the time, the Karine A also carried Sagger guided anti-tank missiles used by Hizbullah against Israeli armor in Lebanon, LAW anti-tank missiles, long-range mortars, and mines. Also on board the vessel were short and long-range Katyushas, including 122 mm rockets with a range of some 20 kilometers. The ship was intercepted by naval commandos en route to Gaza, 500 kilometers off of Israel's coast. On Sunday, the Judean Military Court sentenced Shubaki to 20 years in prison and five years suspended sentence, even though he is 70 and in deteriorating health. The military prosecutor had asked for a 25-year jail sentence. "The defendant is not an ordinary arms dealer," the judges wrote in their decision. "It is not difficult to imagine how such significant amounts of weaponry would have had a disastrous effect on the lives of Israeli citizens." Following his arrest in 2006, Shubaki told his interrogators that the PA funded terror cells. Shubaki estimated that $7 million to $10m. was used every two years to purchase arms for the Gaza Strip, and another $2m. was spent on weapons for the West Bank. The money, he said, came from international aid to the PA, tax money Israel routinely transferred to the PA and taxes collected in the Gaza Strip. At the time, Shubaki also confessed to involvement in the purchasing of weapons for the head of the Tanzim terror group in Gaza, used in attacks against military installations and Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip.