From the Arab Platoon to Hamas—Israel’s “Abu Nidal” Strategy

Acts of terror have been carried out by people of many nationalities and ideologies. But contrary to the mainstream media’s spin, since World War II Israel has probably been the world’s number-one sponsor of terrorism, implemented “by way of deception”—words from the motto of Mossad, Israel’s intelligence service. These acts have almost invariably been executed in a way that Arabs would be blamed. This has included, for example:

The King David Hotel bombing. After World War II, the British continued governing Palestine, with their administrative, military and police headquarters in Jerusalem’s King David Hotel. Zionists wanted Britain to exit Palestine so they could proclaim Israel a nation. In 1946, members of Irgun, an Israeli terrorist group, entered the King David dressed as Arabs. They brought in explosives, concealed in milk cans, and blew up the hotel, leaving 91 dead and many others mutilated. This was one of numerous Zionist terrorist acts against the British, who got the message and departed.

In the 1954 Lavon Affair, the Israelis instructed operatives in Egypt to blow up American and British civilian targets, with the intent of blaming it on Egyptians and Muslims. Some of the bombs detonated prematurely, however, and the plot failed.

In its infamous 1967 attack, the Israeli military attempted to sink the USS Liberty in the Mediterranean, hitting her with rockets and napalm, and finally firing torpedoes and even machine-gunning the launched lifeboats. They killed 34 U.S. sailors and wounded more than 170. This was during the Six Day War; the Israelis flew in unmarked planes, intending to blame the attack on Egypt so the United States would enter the war on their side. Fortunately, the Liberty remained afloat, and the survivors lived to tell their story. Their website is

In 1986, U.S. soldiers were frequenting a Berlin discotheque called La Belle. One night a bomb tore through it, killing two American servicemen and wounding over 50 others. U.S. intelligence then intercepted radio messages, originating in Libya, that congratulated alleged perpetrators of the crime. In response, President Ronald Reagan ordered the bombing of Libya. But in his book The Other Side of Deception, former Mossad officer Victor Ostrovsky revealed that the Mossad originated the radio signals from a transmitter they had planted in Libya, completely deceiving U.S. intelligence.1

● Here whistleblower Annie Machon of MI5 (Britain’s equivalent of the FBI) describes the 1994 bombing of the Israeli embassy in London as actually being perpetrated by Mossad in order to blame Palestinians (2 minutes; you may need to click more than once to play):

Then, of course, is the mother of them all, 9/11, covered with Zionist-Israeli fingerprints. 9/11 led to the many unnecessary Middle East wars which were already foreknown in 2001. Those wars in turn helped produce the migrant crisis ravaging Europe and America today.

What must not be overlooked in all of this is the ability of Israel’s sophisticated intelligence services to penetrate Arab groups.  Author Alan Hart, former correspondent for BBC Panorama specializing in the Middle East, said in an interview with Kevin Barrett in 2010:

Now it’s not a secret—I detail it in my book—from almost the moment Israel was born, it had its agents penetrating every Arab government, every Arab military organization, and every Arab terrorist group, whatever.2

In his 750-page book Rise and Kill First: The History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations, Israeli author Ronen Bergman writes:

The Arab Platoon was established when the Haganah [Zionist paramilitary organization] decided it needed a nucleus of trained fighters who could operate deep inside enemy lines, gathering information, carrying out sabotage and targeted killing missions. The training of its men—most of them [Jewish] immigrants from Arab lands—included commando tactics and explosives, but also intensive study of Islam and Arab customs. They were nicknamed Mistaravim, the name by which Jewish communities went in some Arab countries, where they practiced the Jewish religion, but were similar to Arabs in all other respects—dress, language, social customs, etc.3

In his book Half Truth, Pakistani author Ferrukh Mir writes:

Veteran Pakistani columnist Jabbar Mirza (The Jang; Urdu daily) recalls during the Afghan war of the eighties, he and slain governor of NWFP, General Fazal-e-Haq, were sitting in General Haq’s official residence, governor house Peshawar. Different official and non-official figures were visiting the governor one after the other. Meanwhile two tribesmen dressed in traditional Pashtun dresses and wearing long beards entered the room and started talking with the governor frankly in excellent local Pashtu accent. Mirza recalls, it was surprising for him that a governor, who was famous for his high-headedness, was talking to ordinary tribesmen very politely. After their departure the general asked, do you know who they were? They were Israelis (Mossad), who are training the Afghans inside Afghanistan and are fighting against the Russians.4

But it is the terrorist Abu Nidal who this post will principally focus on. A few readers may recall Oliver North‘s somewhat famous Congressional testimony about a security system installed at his home due to Abu Nidal threatening his life (less than 2 minutes):

(The full 8-minute clip can be seen at

Born in 1937, Nidal was the illegitimate son of a wealthy Palestinian orange grower. By the 1980s he had become the poster boy for terrorism. He oversaw a vast terrorist organization, recruits who committed assassinations, massacres, and airliner hijackings. He did not operate out of Palestine, but out of host Arab nations, each of whom eventually expelled him.

Abu Nidal

In 1992, Patrick Seale, former correspondent for the London Observer, and one of Britain’s top Middle East specialists, wrote a biography, Abu Nidal: A Gun for Hire. Seale’s book made a stunning revelation: although portrayed in mainstream media as a “Palestinian terrorist” and “enemy of Israel,” Nidal was in fact employed by Mossad—Israel’s equivalent of the CIA.

Abu Iyad, chief of intelligence for the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), asked to meet with Seale in Tunis in 1990. Quoting Seale:

“Every Palestinian who works in intelligence,” he told me, “is convinced that Israel has a big hand in Abu Nidal’s affairs.” His suspicions had now hardened into a conviction: Abu Nidal was not just an extreme rejectionist who sold his services to Arab regimes. Israel had gained control of him. That was the key to his persistent sabotage of Palestinian interests. . . . . Abu Nidal had killed the PLO’s most accomplished diplomats: Hammami, in London; Qalaq, in Paris; Yassin, in Kuwait; he had slaughtered hundreds of Palestinian fighters; he had debased the Palestinian national struggle with his senseless and savage terrorism and succeeded in alienating the Palestinians’ best friends. He had made the word Palestinian synonymous with terrorist. . . . Abu Nidal, he told me, was the greatest enemy of the Palestinian people.5

Eventually Abu Iyad himself was murdered on orders from Abu Nidal.

Isam Sartawi, a prominent figure in the Palestinian movement, said in the January 22, 1982 Le Monde: “Abu Nidal is not a maximalist serving the cause of the rejection front, but a renegade in the service of Israel.”6

●  A senior Jordanian intelligence officer told Seale: “Scratch around inside Abu Nidal’s organization and you will find Mossad.”7

A French government expert on terrorism informed him: “If Abu Nidal himself is not an Israeli agent, then two or three of his senior people certainly are. Nothing else can explain some of his operations.”8

A CIA officer who had been station head in several Arab countries told Seale: “It’s quite likely that Mossad picked up Abu Nidal in the late 1960s, when it was putting a lot of effort into penetrating the newly formed Palestinian guerrilla groups.”9

In 1977, the Likud, Israel’s far-right party, came to power for the first time. Menachem Begin, who had once been leader of the Irgun terrorist gang, now became Prime Minister. Begin wanted to expand Israeli territories in Palestine, and destroy the PLO, even though the PLO had turned from violence to seeking peaceful negotiations. A few months after Begin came to power, Abu Nidal began killing Palestinian moderates.10

It was the Israeli mindset that, in order to keep the lands which they had stolen during the 1967 Six-Day War, it was necessary to equate Palestinians with “terrorists” as a pretext to justify refusal to conduct negotiations.

Hollywood began helping out by making movies that would support this new narrative. In Black Sunday (1977), Palestinian terrorists attempt to wipe out the fans at the Super Bowl with a shrapnel bomb, but the plot is foiled by a Mossad agent, saving 80,000 American lives.

In The Delta Force (1986), Palestinians hijack an American airliner and hold the passengers hostage in Lebanon, but Chuck Norris and the Delta Force rescue the victims and bring them to safety in Israel. And, of course, who could forget the wild-eyed terrorists in Back to the Future (1985). In this case the terrorists were from Libya, a country that, as we have mentioned, Ronald Reagan bombed the following year as a result of a Mossad deception.

Abu Nidal, who himself almost seemed like a scripted movie villain, carried out a series of terrorist attacks that invariably aided Israel and harmed Palestine.

In 1982, Israel brutally invaded neighboring Lebanon, where the PLO had set up their headquarters. The Israelis committed 76,000 men, 1,250 tanks, and 1,500 armored personnel carriers, supported by air and naval bombardment. 17,000 Lebanese and Palestinians were killed. (According to Seale, Israel had brokered its famous peace treaty with Egypt to ensure it could undertake such aggressions without having to worry about Egypt’s military intervening.)11

However, before the attack on Lebanon, U.S. Secretary of State Alexander Haig advised the Israeli government that it would need a “major, internationally recognized provocation” to justify the invasion.12 After all, the PLO had not fired a single shot at Israel from Lebanon.

Abu Nidal gave Israel the incident it needed by having his gunmen seriously wound Shlomo Argov, Israel’s ambassador to Britain. This became Israel’s official pretext for the invasion, even though neither Lebanon nor the PLO—Nidal’s enemy—had anything to do with it. Raful Eitan, Israel’s chief of staff, barked: “Abu Nidal, Abu Shmidal. We have to strike at the PLO!”13

Seale writes that in 1985, “Austria and Italy were the two European countries with which the PLO had the closest relations, and with their encouragement, a European-Palestinian dialogue had been developing satisfactorily.”14

So what did Abu Nidal do? He had his fanatical young followers, doped on amphetamines, launch simultaneous attacks on the Vienna and Rome airports on December 27, 1985, killing 18 people and wounding 110 with rifle fire and hand grenades. Nidal lied to the gunmen, telling them that people at the El Al ticket counters would be Israeli pilots in civilian clothes who had bombed their families.15

Israel falsely accused the PLO of carrying out the attacks, even though the PLO denounced them and Abu Nidal took the credit. In the public mind, however, It was just “Palestinians.”

Again quoting Seale:

Cyprus . . . had long been sympathetic to the Palestinians, having supported them during Israel’s siege of Beirut in 1982 and given them a haven when Arab states expelled them. Cyprus sometimes seemed more committed to the Palestinian cause than many Arab countries—much to Israel’s annoyance. On May, 11, 1988, Abu Nidal’s organization detonated a car bomb in Nicosia, killing and wounding fifteen people . . . . In the wake of this, Cypriot opinion turned against the Palestinians.16

On May, 15, 1988, Abu Nidal assaulted Sudan, which Seale describes as “even more consistently pro-Palestinian than Cyprus.”17 Nidal’s men attacked a hotel and restaurant with machine guns and grenades. Seven people were killed and 21 wounded. The victims’ nationalities included Sudanese, British, French, American, Swiss, and Polish—no Israelis. Sudanese support for Palestine then dwindled.

Seale notes: “Greece was the European country most sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, and its prime minister, Andreas Papandreou, was the European leader who had most effectively defended the Arabs against Israel’s charge of terrorism.”18

So what did Abu Nidal do? On July 11, 1988, he had his men, armed with machine guns and grenades, attack a Greek cruise ship carrying hundreds of tourists, killing nine and wounding 80. Does anyone think Nidal really believed this would somehow help Palestine?  Greeks were furious that Palestinians had badly damaged their tourist trade, and the incident helped bring about the downfall of the Papandreou government.19

It’s noteworthy that the last three terrorist attacks I have cited occurred shortly after the start of the First Intifada—Palestinian uprising against Israel. The Intifada had begun in December 1987. And this brings us to Nidal’s deadliest terror: the slaughter of his own men. Between 1987 and 1988, Seale notes:

In a little over a year, it is estimated that Abu Nidal murdered some six hundred of his own people, between a third and a half of his total membership, mostly young men in their early twenties—almost as many Palestinians as Israel killed in the first three years of the Intifada. . . .

Over three hundred men were killed in South Lebanon, 171 of them in a single night in November 1987—on the fabricated charge of being Jordanian agents.  According to a defector, a bulldozer was brought in to dig a deep trench. Blindfolded, roped together, and with their hands tied behind their backs, the men were then lined up, sprayed with machine-gun fire, and immediately pushed in for burial, some of them struggling and still alive.20

Needless to say, none of these young men were able to join their fellow Palestinians in the Intifada.

Was Abu Nidal working for Mossad? Of course, we have no signed confession, by him or the Israelis. But every action he took harmed Palestine and helped Israel. As Jesus said, “by their fruits you shall know them.”

It is noteworthy that Nidal never directly attacked Israel, and Israel never attacked him.  A German expert on counterterrorism told Seale in 1990: “Those that the Israelis want to destroy, they destroy, even if it means sending in assassins. But what have they ever done to Abu Nidal in fifteen years? He seems more like a protected species that the Mossad wants to keep alive!”21

Nidal fulfilled the stereotype of “Palestinians are terrorists” that Hollywood was simultaneously painting. He not only threatened to kill Oliver North, but Ronald Reagan and UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Yet ironically, despite his innumerable murders and threats, no one brought him brought to justice. Even after 9/11, a decade after Seale published his book, Nidal was still at large.

But the slaughter of his own followers had marked the beginning of Abu Nidal’s  decline. Many men fled his organization, and new recruits became hard to find.

Part of the terrorism PSYOP seemingly requires a “poster boy” to symbolize it in the public mind. With Abu Nidal withering, the “poster boy” baton may possibly have been passed to Ramzi Yousef, implicated in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing (an event with more Mossad fingerprints on it).22 But Yousef’s terrorist career ended after he was arrested in Pakistan in 1995.

In 1996, a new Poster Boy emerged in Osama Bin Laden, who issued a call for jihad against the United States that year. His main pretext for the announcement—that U.S. troops were desecrating Arabia by their presence there—seemed rather belated and flimsy, as it was his own Saudi government who had invited in U.S. troops, to battle Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, back in 1990-91.  It should also be noted that Bin Laden had joined the Mujahideen in their fight against the Soviets in Afghanistan during the 1980s. Since the U.S. heavily funded the Mujahideen, and Wikipedia notes that “Bin Laden’s first trainer was US Special Forces commando Ali Mohamed,”23 it seems odd that Bin Laden turned so swiftly on his benefactors.  In yet another irony, Bin Laden’s older brother, Salem Bin Laden, had been a partner in George W. Bush’s Arbusto Energy Company.24

Abu Nidal and Osama Bin Laden: Parallels

Several common denominators existed between Abu Nidal and Osama Bin Laden.

Both men were extremely wealthy. Intelligence sources estimated Nidal was worth $400 million.25 He made money from weapons sales and “protection” money (blackmailing countries such as Kuwait and France into paying him off in exchange for not attacking them), but one must wonder if such sources alone could account for that much affluence for the son of a Palestinian orange grower. Some officials estimated Bin Laden’s worth at $250 million in 1991, although others put it lower.26

Both Nidal and Bin Laden held accounts at the now-defunct BCCI Bank.

Both men operated from desert compounds where they trained and radicalized young men into murderous fanatics.

Despite his vast wealth, and despite supposedly being an advocate of Palestine, Abu Nidal never gave even one dollar to help the Palestinian people.27 And although Bin Laden also proclaimed solidarity with the Palestinians, I have never seen evidence that he donated anything to them either.

Nidal never directly attacked Israel and Israel never attacked him. Likewise, for all his criticisms of Israel, Bin Laden never attacked it, nor did Israel attack him. It might be argued that Bin Laden couldn’t have penetrated Israel very easily to strike at it, but certainly he could have hit Israeli “soft” targets such as its overseas embassies (just as he did with U.S. embassies). Israel’s embassies he left untouched. Confining himself to U.S. targets served the interests of the Israelis, who wanted the U.S. to make war on their enemies.

As we have seen, the combined intelligence and military resources of the Western Bloc nations were never able to locate and eliminate Nidal, despite his many crimes and threats. It was Sadaam Hussein’s intelligence service that finally took him out in 2002 in Iraq. (Some sources claim that, when confronted in Iraq, he committed suicide.) Ironically, the U.S. would invade Iraq the following year. Likewise, Bin Laden remained at large for 10 years after 9/11, until his alleged execution by Navy Seals in 2011, an incident that remains highly controversial, since his body was almost immediately dumped in the ocean, preventing confirmation of his identity.

Although the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 was supposedly to “get Bin Laden,” he rapidly faded in importance and became a secondary objective. Gary Bernsten, the U.S. field commander in the hunt for Bin Laden in Afghanistan, later wrote:

Day and night, I kept thinking, We needed US soldiers on the ground! We need them to do the fighting! We need them to block a possible al-Qaeda escape into Pakistan! I’d sent my request for 800 US Army Rangers and was still waiting for a response. I repeated to anyone at headquarter who would listen: “We need Rangers now! The opportunity to get bin Laden is slipping away!!”28 . . .

I’d made it clear in my reports that our Afghan allies were hardly anxious to get at al-Qaeda in Tora Bora. So why was the US military looking for excuses not to act decisively? Why would they want to leave something that was so important to an unreliable Afghan army that’d been cobbled together at the last minute? This was the opportunity we’d hoped for when we launched this mission. Our advantage was quickly slipping away. . . .29

When Bernsten was ready for his final push against Bin Laden, he was relieved of his duties and transferred to South America. He wrote:Now that we finally had bin Laden and his al-Qaeda cadres trapped in the White Mountains, why was headquarters pulling us out? And why was Washington hesitant about committing troops to get bin Laden? These were the questions that kept me up at night.”30

It appears that, just as no one wanted to capture Abu Nidal—in order to sustain Israel’s refusal to engage in negotiations—no one wanted to capture Bin Laden either, because to do so would have ended the pretext for America’s endless Middle East proxy wars on behalf of Israel, as enumerated by General Wesley Clark.

There were differences, as well, between Nidal and Bin Laden. Nidal was highly secular and drank a bottle of whiskey every day. Bin Laden, on the other hand, was, according to those who were with him, a religious Muslim who fasted and rose before dawn to pray.31 And while Bin Laden personally engaged in combat, Nidal scrupulously avoided it.

The Hamas Incursion of October 2023

As we have seen, the Israelis have long specialized in false flags that are blamed on Arabs. We have seen that the Mossad controlled Abu Nidal to neutralize the PLO. As Congressmen Ron Paul explained in one of his excellent floor speeches, Israel also created Hamas to counter the PLO (2 minutes):

Israel’s Ronen Bergman quotes PLO chief Yassar Arafat on suicide bombings:

“A secret Israeli organization by the name of OAS, that functions inside the Shin Bet and in cooperation with Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, whose aim is to disrupt the peace process, is behind these attacks and many others.”32

Now let’s watch former soldiers in Israel’s IDF, ,Gaza border defense, explain why the recent “surprise attack” on Israel would be impossible:

1 minute (you may need to click more than once) :

1 minute:

3 minutes:

(The full version of the last video, 9 minutes long, can be seen at

Furthermore, Egypt had warned Israel of the attack three days in advance. Why then, did the IDF go missing along the Israeli-Gaza border before the attack, when it should have been reinforcing it?

Normally, if Hamas had attacked Israel, they would have been mowed down by IDF gunfire before they even got near the barrier. Why were Hamas leaders so confident that the IDF would not be around to oppose them? Is their intel that sophisticated?

Furthermore, Hamas leaders surely knew that an attack would lead to a brutal, disproportionate counter-attack by Israel, as it always has.

Here is Gaza, just one week after Israel began its ruthless, indiscriminate bombings (2 minutes):

The toll as of October 29, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health, had reached a staggering 8,005 Palestinians killed, including 3,324 children, 2,062 women, and 460 elderly.  1,870 were reported missing, including 1,020 children, and around 20,000 injured.33 The Israelis have bombed houses, apartment complexes, hospitals, churches, mosques, marketplaces, and columns of fleeing refugees.  They have cut off all food, water, electric power, and medical supplies to the more than 2 million residents of the Gaza Strip.

No one would doubt that the overwhelming majority of Hamas fighters—like Abu Nidal’s—sincerely believe in their cause. But was Arafat correct? Does Mossad—as it has done in so many other cases—have infiltrators inside the Arab organization?

Journalist Vanessa Beesly notes that:

Hamas founder Moses Hasan Yousef . . . was a spy for Zionist intelligence 1997—2007 before being given US residency. . . . Shin Bet [Israel’s equivalent of the FBI] considered him its most valuable source within the Hamas leadership. The information Yousef supplied exposed numerous Hamas cells, and assisted Israel in hunting down many militants, and incarcerating his own father, Hamas leader Sheikh Hassan Yousef.34

Some headlines worth absorbing:

One must ask, then, given Israel’s long penetration of Arab organizations, what other Mossad agents might have infiltrated Hamas, and might still be there? Was the attack carried out with coordination on both sides, so that Netanyahu could destroy and annex Gaza, driving the people out and turning the land into yet another territory of “Greater Israel?”

One final note. While there is still uncertainty as to exactly what happened when Hamas entered Israel, I have seen several debunkings of the atrocity stories coming out of Israel that were used to justify decimating Gaza. CNN has already retracted its story of the “40 beheaded babies.”

The best compilation of debunkings I have seen on alleged Hamas atrocities so far is this (6 minutes):

U.S. soldiers are already on the ground in Israel, giving the IDF help it does not need in its unjustified invasion of Gaza. If a Hezbollah rocket fired from Lebanon kills U.S. soldiers, the U.S may attack Hezbollah. Retaliations and counter-retaliations could quickly escalate into war with Iran, which backs Hezbollah, and is allied with Russia and China. Intense international pressure needs to be applied to Israel—and, I am sorry to have to say, the United States government—if we are to achieve a ceasefire and avoid a disastrous World War.

And for those Western Christians who think they have an obligation to “stand with Israel,” I suggest, for further reading, my post on Christian Zionism.


  1. Victor Ostrovsky, The Other Side of Deception: A Rogue Agent Exposes the Mossad’s Secret Agenda (New York: HarperPaperbacks, 1994), 143-48. The relevant quotations are also in my book Truth Is a Lonely Warrior.
  2. “Mideast-Expert-Journalist-Alan Hart,” interview with Kevin Barrett, May 25, 2010,
  3. Ronen Bergman, Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations (New York: Random House, 2018), 24.
  4. Ferrukh Mir, Half Truth: Peace in Afghanistan is Key to Global Peace (Bloomington, Indiana: iUniverse, 2011), 86.
  5. Patrick Seale, Abu Nidal: A Gun for Hire (New York: Random House, 1992), 43-44.
  6. Seale, 172.
  7. Seale, 152.
  8. Seale, 153.
  9. Seale, 153-4.
  10. Seale, 51.
  11. Seale, 169.
  12. Seale, 223.
  13. Zack Rothbart, “The Botched Hit that Sparked the First Lebanon War,” Tablet, June 22, 2022,
  14. Seale, 243.
  15. Seale, 244.
  16. Seale, 262.
  17. Seale, 263.
  18. Seale, 265.
  19. Seale, 265-66.
  20. Seale, 288.
  21. Seale, 211.
  22. Former Mossad officer Victor Ostrovsky told the Village Voice that he believed Mossad was behind the event. There is evidence that Yosef accomplice Ahmad Ajaj had been recruited by Mossad. The man accused of transporting the bomb, Mohammad Salameh, was closely connected to Mossad agent Josie Hadas, who disappeared after the incident. Evidently Salameh was little more than a patsy.
  23. “Osama Bin Laden,” Wikipedia,
  24. Christopher Bollyn, “The Family Ties Between Bush and Bin Laden,” October 3, 2001,
  25. Seale, 204.
  26. “Osama Bin Laden Fast Facts,” CNN, April 27, 2021,
  27. Seale, 212.
  28. Gary Bernsten and Ralph Pezzullo, Jawbreaker: The Attack on Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda: A Personal Account by the CIA’s Key Field Commander (New York: Crown Publishers, 2005), 290.
  29. Bernsten and Pezzullo, 290-91.
  30. Bernsten and Pezzullo, 297-98.
  31. Nasser al-Bahri, Guarding Bin Laden: My Life in al-Qaeda (Great Britain: Thin Man Press, 2013), 75, 81.
  32. Bergman, 437.
  33. Times of Gaza, October 29, 2023,
  34. Vanessa Beesly, “False Flag Incoming,” October 24, 2023.
Picture of James Perloff

James Perloff

James has been writing for alternative media since 1985 when he began contributing to The New American magazine. He is the author of six books, the subjects of which range from COVID-19 to political history to creationism.

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