Following are excerpts from an interview with Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmoud Al-Zahar, which aired on Al-Arabiya TV on April 6, 2006.
Interviewer: How will you deal with the issue of suicide operations against Israeli civilians? Abu Mazen condemns these operations. What will be your position?
Mahmoud Al-Zahar: These are not suicide operations. This is a despicable term used by the Israelis in order to say that these are suicide operations, knowing that suicide is forbidden in Islam. This is just for the sake of clarification. These are martyrdom-seeking operations, approved by all the authorities of the Islamic nation, who consider them to be the highest level of martyrdom. It is a form of resistance, and resistance against the occupation is legitimate.
When we have F-16 airplanes, Apache helicopters, espionage planes, helicopters, and tanks like theirs, we will use them - one army against the other. But as long as there is a nuclear arsenal facing an unarmed people, I believe this people has a right to defend itself with the means at its disposal.