August 13, 2018 Special Dispatch No. 7621

Official Fatah Facebook Page Honors Japanese Terrorist Kozo Okamoto

August 13, 2018
Palestinians | Special Dispatch No. 7621

On August 12, 2018, Fatah's official Facebook page posted a photo of Japanese terrorist Kozo Okamoto and information about him. Okamoto was one of three terrorists, members of the Japanese Red Army (JRA), who carried out an attack in Israel's Lod Airport on May 30, 1972, in which 26 people were killed and 79 were injured. Before participating in the attack, in 1971, Okamoto trained in Lebanon with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Okamoto's fellow terrorists were killed in the course of the attack, and he himself was sentenced by an Israeli court to three consecutive life sentences, but was released after 13 years as part of the Jibril Agreement, a prisoners exchange deal between Israel and the PFLP-General Command.

The following is a translation of the post on Fatah's Facebook page:[1]

The August 12, 2018 post on Fatah's Facebook page

"Who Is Kozo Okamoto?

"1. A Japanese fighter who carried out an attack against the Zionists in Palestine.

"2. Converted to Islam at the age of 24 and participated in an operation at Lod Airport in 1972, in which 26 Zionists were killed. He was captured after he ran out of ammunition.

"3. He was sentenced to death but following pressures by Japan his sentence was changed to life in prison.

"4. He was released in 1985."

It should be noted that this is not the first post about Okamoto to appear on Fatah's official Facebook page. On May 18, 2016, a post appeared headed "Who Is Comrade Kozo Okamoto, the International Revolutionary?," which said: "On May 30, 1972, a squad of three Japanese commandos stormed the Lod Airport. They threw five grenades: three at the planes parked at the airport, one at the customs office there, and another at the vehicles parked at the airport. As a result 26 Israelis were killed and over 80 were injured. After throwing the grenades the squad started retreating from the airport, and clashed on the way with an Israeli patrol near Ramla prison, wounding five members of the patrol unit.[2] Two of the three Japanese commandos gave their lives [in the attack]: Tsuyoshi Okudaira (whose nom de guerre was Bassam), and Yasuyuki Yasuda (whose nom de guerre was Salah). The third, Kozo Okamoto (whose nom de guerre is Ahmad), was wounded and captured. The operation was planned by the PFLP.

"The Japanese commandos belonged to the Japanese Red Army, a revolutionary organization that split off from the Japanese Communist Party and undertook as its mission to support all oppressed peoples in the world and spark a global revolution against the oppression and tyranny of the colonialist and imperialist forces worldwide. The just Palestinian cause, and the violence and expulsion suffered by our people at the hands of the Zionist movement, which is supported by the superpowers, drew the attention of this revolutionary organization, and it formed close ties with the revolutionary Palestinian forces [that were active] in Lebanon at the time, especially with the PFLP."[3]    


The May 5, 2016 post on Fatah's Facebook page



[1], August 12, 2018.

[2] The actual details of the attack were very different.

[3], May 18, 2016.

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