NEW YORK (Jul. 10)
Time magazine said in its current issue that the Palestine Liberation Organization has built up an investment portfolio amounting “to an estimated $60-$100 million” which includes shares in “blue chip American companies that have operations in the Middle East”.
Describing the PLO as “probably the richest, best financed revolutionary-terrorist organization in history,” Time said its other holdings include two Beirut hotels, shares in shipyards and oil tankers and a youth hostel under construction in Cairo.
Time said that “Some of this money has even been used for the quiet purchase of land on the West Bank that local Palestinians might otherwise be tempted to sell to the Israelis.” According to the report, “The Palestinians also claim to make $5 million a year operating an illegal drug market inside Israel, using Oriental Jews as pushers.”
TERRORISM REPLENISHES PLO COFFERS
But the PLO’s principal sources of income are subventions from the oil-producing Arab states, notably Saudi Arobia and from other Arab states which totals about $70 million a year. Another $10 million comes from the 300,000 Palestinians living in the Arab oil states where 5 percent of their wages are routinely withheld as a contribution to the Palestinian movement.
“Every so often, the Palestinian coffers have been replenished with income extracted by terrorism,” Time reported. The magazine referred to the $25 million ransom paid jointly by Iran and Saudi Arabia for the 81 hostages taken at the OPEC meeting in Vienna in December, 1975.
According to Time, the PLO’s assets “are mainly held through numbered bank accounts and blind names to prevent Israeli retaliation and also to camouflage the wealth of a movement that prides itself on its warrior image”.