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memri
January 11, 1999 No.
21

'Fatah Day' in the Palestinian Media

The 34th anniversary of the Fatah movement was marked throughout the Palestinian Authority's territories on January 1st. The following are statements made by Palestinians officials on this occasion, as reported by the Palestinian media:

Chairman of the Palestinian Authority [PA], Yasser Arafat in a speech to the Palestinian People broadcast on PA Television and published in full in all PA dailies: "...Our people are entitled to take pride in their enormous sacrifices of the last thirty four years. These sacrifices were not in vain and led to the beginning of the journey of Return to the homeland... We say to the brave prisoners and martyrs: the dreams you have fought for, died for, or paid for with your freedom are no longer dreams, as some people thought... Your brothers in arms keep the vow they took: together with determination and strong faith without softening...

We did not and never will give up our solid principles. For us, the meaning of making peace is the retrieval of our land, the solving the problem of our refugees, the release of our prisoners from the occupation jails, the guaranteeing of the Right of Return and self-determination of our Palestinian People, and the establishment of an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital.

Our brave [Palestinian] People have demonstrated throughout their long history that it is capable of devising alternatives in order to achieve their national goals, their freedom, their sovereignty, and their independence..."[1]

Arafats' Assistant for National and Political Guidance, Othman Abu Gharbiyyeh in a speech delivered before senior officers in Gaza said: "...We say to the martyrs that our commitment is still standing and that we continue on the same road. The revolution is the same revolution and the weapon is still the same weapon. We say to our brothers in arms that their brothers in arms [adhere] to the oath and continue on the same road we embarked on January 1st, 1965...

I say on my own behalf, on behalf of my brothers, and on behalf of the leader Abu Ammar [Arafat] that we will not stop before [the establishment of] the independent state with Jerusalem as its capital, and in case the road is blocked, there will be no limits on our alternatives in securing this goal...

We are still 'Seekers of Martyrdom' and we will not give up. Netanyahu tries to evade fulfilling the agreements and we say to him on behalf of this leadership: where would you go? Either you fulfill the agreements or there will be bad consequences. We are a deeply rooted people and deeply rooted peoples are characterized by blood sacrifice and challenges only make them tougher... The commitment is still standing and we will continue to be 'Seekers of Martyrdom' who take pride in the guns on our shoulders, because we were born with this weapon. Revolution until victory."[2]

Member of the Palestinian Legislative Council from the Jerusalem District, Ahmad Hashem Al-Zghyer: "Jihad is incumbent upon our People because it settles this holy land.'[3]

The Fatah Supreme Committee called in a communiqué upon all struggling national factions "to seriously prepare themselves in a responsible manner for the battle of liberation and independence through national sovereignty on the lands of the independent Palestinian State with Jerusalem as its capital on May 4, 1999."[4]

Member of the PLO Executive Committee, Zakariya Al-Agha, spoke on behalf of Arafat in a symposium held in Gaza and said: "The Palestinian Authority will never allow the partition of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with the settlers, as the Israeli government wants. We agreed to the partition of Palestine in order to achieve peace and it is inconceivable that we ever agree to the partition of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, because we see these as holy rights that cannot be ignored regardless of the number of casualties...

We are still in the stage of national liberation and our struggle will not cease without the Return, self-determination, and the establishment of the independent state with Jerusalem as its capital."[5]


[1] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, January 1, 1999.

[2] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, January 2, 1999.

[3] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, January 1, 1999.

[4] Al-Hayat AlJadida, January 3, 1999.

[5] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, January 3, 1999.