The following are excerpts from an interview with PFLP member and former plane hijacker Leila Khaled, which aired on Abu Dhabi TV on January 31, 2010.
Interviewer: Will we see the renewal of negotiations without a freeze on settlement?
Leila Khaled: I hope that President Abu Mazen maintains his position, because – and I say this loud and clear – if he succumbs to this pressure, he will encounter formidable revenge by the people. At present, I am behind Abu Mazen, and I say to him: We are with you in the face of this pressure. You will not be alone in the battlefield. But if you agree to sit down at the negotiating table – we will be against you.
Interviewer: You represent a large sector of the Palestinian public. You said that if Mahmoud Abbas agrees to negotiations, you will be against him. What does this mean in practical terms?
Leila Khaled: We will set the streets ablaze.
The ultimate goal of the struggle is the establishment of a Palestinian state on the land of Palestine, within the 1967 borders, including Jerusalem. But this is just one stage – not everything. Ultimately, we have the right to return to Palestine – all Palestine. I am from Haifa, and I want to return to Haifa. It is a human, legitimate, and natural right for people to live in their land. Of course, there are people who will say: "Dream on." I respond: "Revolution begins with a dream."
Interviewer: Many people say that Israel will never accept two things – giving up Jerusalem, and the issue of the refugees.
Leila Khaled: So how come Israel agrees to release prisoners? It had declared that even if the prophet descended, it would not release so-and-so, but eventually, it did.
Interviewer: But after how many years?
Leila Khaled: If you use force, the enemy withdraws. When the occupier begins to feel that the occupation is costly, what does he do? He withdraws.