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November 1, 2001 Special Dispatch No. 293

An Address by Chairman Yasser Arafat

November 1, 2001
Palestine | Special Dispatch No. 293

The following are excerpts from an address given by Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat at theheadquarters of the Palestinian Workers’ Association in Gaza City, October 27, 2001:

"…The tanks, planes, and missiles will never subjugate our people, because it is at the forefront [of the battle], until Judgment Day… Oh mountain, the wind cannot move you; thus it is with our people, no one can move it…''

"We are now at a crossroads, but I say that the Palestinian caravan is on its way to the first direction of prayer [i.e. Jerusalem], to the third holiest place [Jerusalem], to the place from which the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven [Jerusalem, according to Koranic tradition], and the cradle of Jesus's birth [sic]. To noble Jerusalem, the capital of the State of Palestine, whether anyone agrees or not [i.e. Israel]…"

"Our people turns in this direction with great pride, with determination, and with courage – despite continued attempts on the part of whoever thinks he can subjugate the Palestinian people with his tanks, his planes, his missiles, and his artillery."

Arafat went on to cite the Hadith [Islamic tradition]: "'There is still a group of people of our nation who cling to the truth and defeat their enemies whose opponents cannot harm it… The Prophet was asked, Who are [these people] and where are they? He answered: In Jerusalem and its surroundings, and they are at the forefront [of the battle] until Judgment Day…"'

"This is the grace of Allah, to be at the forefront. And therefore all must know that we, 104 years after the First Zionist Congress in Basle [in 1897] - in which the false claim of 'a land without a people for a people without a land' was made - are today on our land, and we are fighting, struggling, and confronting, with firm will, strength, and faith, and I would like to stress that this people will win, and it will win…''

"My brothers, you represent this principle [Qaida], and the strong foundations of this people, who struggled and waged Jihad; I have great hope in you and in your heroes, because we believe that we have in us the firm, solid, reliable, and sound principle [Qaida]…"

"[We have undergone] a major phase of Operation Oranim [according to Arafat, an IDF operation], called [also] Operation Hell… But this mass killing only intensifies our stubbornness, our faith, and our perseverance; we will persevere, Allah willing, on this path until every boy of the boys of Palestine, and every girl of the girls of Palestine, raises the Palestinian flag over the walls of Jerusalem, its mosques, and churches – Jerusalem, the capital of the State of Palestine… This is the will and these are the aspirations of our Arab nation and of all the free men and men of honor throughout the world; they are watching you and yearning for you to realize this dream for them…"

"I say these words so all will hear them, from Sharon to Netanyahu, to the last of the [listeners] in America, Japan, Indonesia, South Africa, Russia, in the North and in the South: 'The Palestinian people will determine its victory whether anyone agrees or not' [i.e. Israel]; 'they see this as far [from coming about], while we see it as soon to come, and we have patience' [Koran], 'and they shall enter the mosque, as they entered it the first time' [Koran]. Allah will not break his promise, Allah will not break his promise… Out of our commitment to Allah, to the homeland, and to the Christian and Muslim holy places over which we are custodians, we shall conclude the journey, we shall conclude the journey, we shall conclude the journey…"[1]


[1] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Palestinian Authority), October 28, 2001.

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