October 8, 2000 Special Dispatch No. 134

PA Leadership Calls for Continuing the Intifada

October 8, 2000
Palestine | Special Dispatch No. 134

Arab Action Expected

Speaking to a conference in Tunis, PA Chairman Yasir Arafat said: "Just as the Palestinian and Tunisian blood mixed at Hamam al-Shat [Arafat's headquarters in Tunis which were bombed by Israel in October 1985 in retaliation for terrorist operations] so will the Palestinian blood mix with the Arab blood in defense of the legitimate rights of our people - at the head of which is the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital... Whether some [i.e. Israel] like it or not."[1]

PA National Guidance Directorate Head Mazen 'Izz Al-Din proposed, among other things, that: "The continuation of the Palestinian bloodshed might push part of the Arab military to carry out military operations against Israel. As in the case of the Egyptian soldier Suleiman Khater and the Jordanian soldier Al-Daqamsa who both dared to kill groups of Jews. Also, Palestinian bloodshed will push parts of the Arab countries to launch missiles against Israel as the President of Iraq did in 1991 when he launched 39 missiles against Tel-Aviv."[2]

Calls for Continued Violence

PLO Representative for Refugee Affairs As'ad Abd Al-Rahman said, "The negotiations that are being conducted between the Palestinian and Israeli sides are negotiations of blood. Despite the many casualties the Palestinian people are inclined to continue the confrontation because it is beginning to bear fruit."[3]

PLO Executive Committee Committee, Abu Mazen, at a reception for a delegation of Arab intellectuals and poets, said "I don't see an end to the clashes in the foreseeable future. The clashes between the helpless Arab people and the mighty occupation army will not end soon."[4]

PA Minister of Supplies, Abd Al-Aziz Shaheen, stated "We will turn ourselves into invisible bombs against [Israeli] soldiers. The blood will always defeat the sword. This is human history."[5]

Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) member and Chair of the PLC's Land Committee Salah Al-Ta'mari, stated, "The Israeli soldiers must be routed from Rachel's Tomb and the area in its entirety should be returned to the boundaries of Bethlehem [as was done in Joseph's tomb in Nablus]."[6]

Jerusalem and the Refugees

The Arafat appointed Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine Ikrimi Sabri said, "There is no room for compromising solutions with regard to occuppied Jerusalem. Israeli citizenship is forbidden for Palestinians according Shari'a [Islamic law] those who have already acquired it should give it up because it does nto honor them particularly since Israel's days are numbered.[7]

Abu Mazen said, "Israel is fully responsible for the creation of the refugee problem. It is Israel that forced them out of their towns and villages by using all forms of violence against them in 1948 through its army and armed gangs. These facts were admitted by the New Historians who revealed in their books the Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people. Their return will not be to the future Palestinian state but to their lands from which they were driven out in 1948."[8]

A Fatah Communiqué

On October 8, 2000, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, published a communiqué from the Supreme Committee of the Fatah Movement. The Fatah movement is a group within the PLO that is directly controlled by Arafat. Following are excerpts from the 13 point communiqué:

  • Point 1: "The Fatah movement asserts the [need] to continue the Intifada of Al-Quds with all its activities. It calls upon all its courageous sons who led the ranks of fighters in all confrontations to continue their struggle and escalate it even more..."
  • Point 2: "The movement blesses and esteems our brothers in the security apparatuses who defend their people with their blood."
  • Point 4: "The Movement calls upon our people to prevent joint patrols from passing through the PA areas and calls for the suspending security coordination with Israel."
  • Point 5: "It calls upon [the people] to cut all bypass roads and stop the movements of the settlers."
  • Point 11: "It calls upon the people to participate in women's parades which will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 10 in various districts of the homeland."
  • Point 12: "It calls upon the people to participate in Arab rage marches on Friday, Oct. 13 after Friday prayers."
  • Point 13: "The movement blesses our people on the liberation of Joseph's Tomb by the fighting arms of the Fatah on the way towards the liberation of all of sites of the homeland."

    "Revolution until victory until victory until victory!"

    Sha'ath the PLO's Strategy

    Following are excerpts from an October 7, 2000, interview with Palestinian Authority (PA) Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Nabil Sha'ath to the ANN Channel, an Arabic language, London based, satellite TV channel:

    "QUESTION: Is the Palestinian leadership saying 'we support negotiations, settlement, peace,' or is it turning things upside down in the direction demanded by the [Palestinian] opposition?

    SHA'ATH: Historically many people fought and negotiated at the same time...There are many examples of this...Vietnam, Algeria... special conditions were created [in recent years] that forced negotiations on us as an alternative to fighting. But that too has a limit... The Palestinian people should not limit either its popular activity or its political activity...

    QUESTION: Can we say then that the Intifada is another weapon in the negotiations?

    SHA'ATH: ...Negotiations with Syria were conducted parallel to the fighting in Lebanon... The question is not a question of a specific choice saying that this is the time for negotiations and this is the time for fighting... But the political way of action has its limits too, when sixty martyrs fall... it is the right of the Palestinian people to burst out. It is the right of the people and its leadership to take all measures for the liberation of the homeland.

    QUESTION: Have you ever considered the option of refusing to negotiate?

    SHA'ATH: Under no conditions will the PA oppose its people when they rise up in Intifada. There is always a certain limit after which the PA would say there is no use in these negotiations being conducted parallel to the Intifada. After all even if the Intifada succeeds it has to lead to negotiations again. You cannot leave our people with only one option when they fight an enemy that is ten times stronger. You cannot exclude the use of any weapon that can be used with international legitimacy in order to end the occupation of our lands. International legitimacy - that is resolution 242.

    This option of fighting to force the occupation out was removed... when there was a hope that negotiations would lead to Israel's leaving all the territories occupied in 1967. But there always existed the... possibility that Israel won't leave. Therefore President Arafat always said, 'All options are open.' No one believed him when he said that, but in fact throughout the period [of] negotiating three 'Intifadas' occurred.... The Palestinian people never ceased during seven years of negotiations from bursting out into 'Intifadas' against Israel and from saying its words in ways different from the way of the negotiating table.

    [In answer to another question] ...I don't want anyone to be surprised that the Palestinian people are engaged in an Intifada. This is not the first time. Eighty years ago the Palestinian people were already fighting the Zionist existence and the British occupation [of Palestine]... The Palestinian people are a fighting people using weapons, martyrdom, 'Intifadas,' and suicide bombings. It is his fate to fight and negotiate at one and the same time.

    QUESTION: If tomorrow it is agreed to return to negotations will you stop the Intifada?

    SHA'ATH: Israel always says: 'stop the Intifada in order for us to return to negotiations.' Israel said it from day one. But the Intifada would not stop. I believe that today we are absolutely not speaking any longer about resuming negotiations. Now we are talking about... an Israel withdrawal and about the need to stop the Israeli occupation.... Namely full withdrawal to the June 4, 1967 lines and the return of the refugees...

    QUESTION: Why aren't you releasing the Jihad warriors [Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners] from PA jails?

    SHA'ATH: Had it not been for the siege that is imposed on us and for the danger that Israel would try to assassinate or kidnap those people - we would have released them all. [By holding them in prisons] we protect them. ...the agreement with Israel states that any act of killing or injuring Israelis gives Israel the right to demand the perpetrator's extradition unless the PA tries them. Therefore their arrest and trial by us were always the necessary minimum to protect those people from being kidnapped, arrested, or assassinated by Israel."

    [1] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), October 7, 2000.

    [2] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, October 7, 2000.

    [3] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, October 7, 2000.

    [4] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, October 7, 2000.

    [5] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, October 8, 2000.

    [6] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, October 8, 2000.

    [7] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, October 5, 2000.

    [8] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, October 7, 2000.

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