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Friday, July 16, 2010

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

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

TOKYO, JAPAN (ANS) -- 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.

Tass Saada

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.

Yasser Arafat

“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.

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.

Cover of Tass's book

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.

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

David Sullivan during filming of interview with Tass Saada

“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 (

Dan Wooding, 69, is an award winning British journalist now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for 46 years. He is the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS). He was, for ten years, a commentator, on the UPI Radio Network in Washington, DC., and now hosts the weekly “Front Page Radio” show on KWVE in Southern California and which is also carried on the Calvary Radio Network throughout the United States. The program is also aired in Great Britain on Calvary Chapel Radio UK. Wooding also a regular contributor to The Weekend Stand on the Crawford Broadcasting Network, and a host for His Channel Live, which is carried via the Internet to some 192 countries. He is the author of some 44 books. Two of the latest include his autobiography, “From Tabloid to Truth”, which is published by Theatron Books. To order a copy, press this link. Wooding, who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, has also recently released his first novel “Red Dagger” which is available here

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