The Mossad gave Wadia Haddad poison-coated chocolates that killed him within a few months
A new book reveals how Israel's secret intelligence service, the Mossad,
murdered a top Palestinian fighter by feeding him poisoned chocolates in the
In the book, titled “Striking back”, Time magazine's Jerusalem
correspondent Aaron Klein confirms suspicions that the Mossad assassinted Wadia
Haddad, the leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP),
who was wanted by Israel for his role in several airplane hijackings.
According to Klein, Haddad fled to Baghdad in 1977 after Israel began assassinating
Palestinian fighters around the world. The PFLP leader was cautious of his every
move, knowing from earlier Israeli tactics that he could be spotted and killed
if he walked in the streets or picked up the phone. But the 309-pound food lover
had one weakness: chocolate.
At the time, there were no fine chocolates in Baghdad. Mossad spies, working
with a Palestinian operative, gave Haddad Belgian chocolates coated in a slow-acting
poison that killed him within a few months, Klein said.
Haddad died in March 1978 in a hotel in East Germany, showing symptoms of leukemia
but no signs of poisoning.
"Haddad was considered Israel's number one enemy over the hijackings,"
Klein said. "He wasn't liquidated out of vengeance, even though this motive
had existed, but out of the need to neutralize his organization and this desired
effect had been achieved," he added.
Klein said that “since the recent publication of his book, none of the
information has not been officially denied by the Israel". He also stressed
that the Mossad's ability to poison has improved dramatically over the years.
The recent revelation fuels suspicions that Israel poisoned late Palestinian
leader Yasser Arafat, who died at the age of 75 of an unknown disease in
a French military hospital on November 11 2004. "I can categorically confirm
that Abu Ammar (Arafat)
was poisoned," exiled Fatah
chairman Faruq Qaddumi said at the time.
personal physician, Jordanian Ashraf Al-Kurdi also said "The poison was
administered in the food and in the medication he (Arafat)
Klein said there is no concrete evidence that Israel killed Arafat,
but noted that it would take several years to prove that poisoning took place
because Israel would try to block any investigation.
Israel’s secret intelligence agency assassinated several leaders of Palestinian
resistance groups. In October 1996, the Mossad killed the leader of the Islamic
Jihad, Fathi Shkaki, in Malta. Israel also killed Hamas‘
spiritual leader Sheikh
Ahmed Yassin in March 2004, and his successor Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi the
Despite the success of Israeli assassination operations, there have been several
failed attempts in recent years.
The most serious flop occurred in September 1997, when Israeli spies were caught
in Jordan after injecting Hamas’
political leader Khaled Meshaal with a poison that would have killed him within
24 hours. The plot was discovered, and Jordan forced Israel to provide an antidote
to save Meshaal.
However, the Israeli government vowed to continue its policy of targeted killings.
election victory in January, Avi Ditcher, a former head of the Shin Beth security
service, even said that Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya would be "a
legitimate assassination target”.