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Arafat’s Driver Told ‘You must love the Jews’

Yasser Arafat

Tass Saada was born in the teeming Gaza Strip and grew up in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. In his early years he learned to hate both Jews and Christians. It was then just a short step for him to become a trained sniper and driver for the PLO founder Yasser Arafat.

For “fun” Tass would toss hand grenades in Christian churches in Jordan. Killing Israeli soldiers in revenge for “occupying” Palestinian land was also part of his life’s plan and purpose.

What Tass did not bargain on, however, was when he emigrated to America, he would meet an astute business man who told the attentive Palestinian that he had “connections.”

Saada wanted to know more and couldn’t even sleep due to his curiosity about this matter. He was not prepared for the answer that he received. That business man told Tass that he had a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Falling to his knees the one-time killer knew that this was the one, written about in the Qur’an, and what he had been searching for all of his life. It all made sense to this seeker. However, there was a “catch” that almost caused Tass to give up.

“You have to love the Jews” the Christian told him. “You must love the Jews.” From that moment the “Jew hater,” Tass Saada, a son of Ishmael, began to feel such love for the sons of Isaac that he never turned or looked back to his life of violence and hatred.

Tass Saada

Today Tass has outreaches to the young in Jericho and in Gaza and in a number of other countries. He feels that since he once trained young people for violence he now wants to show today’s youth the way to a peace that passes all understanding.

In America he became a successful businessman and a believer in Jesus Christ. Yet he felt that he needed to do more. Selling all of his assets and properties acquired in the States he put his future into the next generation.

He now runs a humanitarian work called “Hope for Ishmael” and has also written a popular book (with Dean Merrill) about his experiences called “Once an Arafat Man: The True Story of How a PLO Sniper Found a New Life.”

Tass travels worldwide sharing his story of love and forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

Tass shared his testimony earlier this year to thousands of delegates at the “Global Mission Consultation” in Tokyo, Japan.

David Sullivan during filming of interview with Tass Saada

He also took some time to be interviewed for HFC International and OLI Production’s international television program “Principles of Leadership,” Other guests in the 52 part series have included “God’s Smuggler” Brother Andrew, the former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey, the founder of Youth with a Mission, Loren Cunningham, the founder of Operation Mobilization George Verwer, “The Vicar of Baghdad” Canon Andrew White, TV teacher Andrew Wommack, Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of evangelist Billy Graham and former head of the British Army General Sir Richard Dannatt.

“Principles of Leadership” is being produced by OLI Productions – the media arm of a British leadership training charity Harvest Fields Commissioning International. HFC International, a U.K. Registered Charity, has a mission to assist in raising up and encouraging churches and leaders in over 46 countries and on all 5 continents for work in churches, charities and other humanitarian assistance groups. Its website is at:

For further information or high-res photos contact: Press Department

Story based on a news release from HFC International (

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