Rumors that the late Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's mother was Jewish are all true, Gadhafi's former chief of protocol, Nuri al-Masmari, told the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper in an article published Monday.
Masmari claimed in the interview that the Libyan dictator's mother was indeed Jewish, and that in an attempt to hide this, Gadhafi himself ordered the death of anyone who had evidence of his Jewish roots.
The former chief of protocol said that during the 1980s, Gadhafi learned that three senior officials in his regime had evidence that proved beyond any doubt that Gadhafi's mother was Jewish. He subsequently ordered their assassination.
According to Masmari, the officials were the Libyan ambassador and military attache in Italy, and another senior officer in the Libyan intelligence apparatus.
Last year, an Israeli woman from Netanya told reporters that Gadhafi was Jewish and that he was her cousin.
He was "born of a Jewish womb," Gita Boaron said, adding that, "My father's sister married a Muslim, which was a great embarrassment to us all."
In the interview published by Al-Hayat on Monday, Masmari also revealed that Gadhafi was addicted to tranquilizer pills and that he would take them on a daily basis to feel "brave and confident."
He said the dictator feared growing old, and that he used to inject Botox regularly into his face to hide his wrinkles.
Masmari further recounted that Gadhafi was constantly paranoid about his safety and always asked his security guards to look into whether anyone was trying to assassinate him, and to test ways for Gadhafi to escape just in case.
He even revealed personal details of Gadhafi's often strange behavior. Masmari said the dictator would have sporadic temper tantrums, during which he would throw papers on the floor and force his aides to pick them up.
"It was unpleasant to be around Gadhafi when he was agitated," Masmari said. "One time, he even threw me in jail because he said I bothered him."
Details of Gadhafi's relations with his children were also revealed by Masmari in the interview. The Libyan leader apparently chose his son, Saif al-Islam, to be his successor and had already begun preparing the groundwork for his coronation as ruler of Libya.
This caused anger and frustration among his other children, and another of his sons, Mutassim, mobilized a group of people from within the family to go against Saif al-Islam.
Gadhafi had a lot to say even regarding the Palestinians, according to Masmari. He would apparently belittle former PLO leader Yasser Arafat and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and accused them of "exploiting the rights of the Palestinian people to amass personal wealth."