INCITEMENT TO VIOLENCE AGAINST ISRAEL BY THE LEADERSHIP OF THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY
(Communicated by Government Press Office)
Under the terms of the Oslo Accords, the leadership of the Palestinian Authority (PA) is obligated to refrain from incitement to violence against Israel.
In his exchange of letters with Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on September 9, 1993, Chairman Yasser Arafat wrote "The PLO renounces the use of terrorism and other acts of violence and will assume responsibility over all PLO elements and personnel in order to assure their compliance, prevent violations and discipline violators."
The Interim Agreement (Oslo 2) of September 28, 1995 (Article XXII) states that Israel and the PA "shall seek to foster mutual understanding and tolerance and shall accordingly abstain from incitement, including hostile propaganda, against each other." The Gaza-Jericho Agreement of May 1994 contained a similar provision (Article XII).
Thus, statements made by PA officials which incite to violence against Israel are a violation of the accords.
Senior Palestinian officials have repeatedly called for jihad (holy war) against Israel and threatened a renewal of the intifada. They have praised terrorists who killed Israelis after the signing of the accords, and suggested that the agreements with Israel were a tactical ploy and a prelude to a return to the armed struggle. In addition, they have falsely accused the Israeli military of plotting terrorist attacks against Israelis by creating, arming and assisting Islamic fundamentalist terrorist groups.
The PA’s virulent rhetoric confers legitimacy on the use of violence. It is a fundamental violation of the Oslo accords.
Statements by PA Officials
The following is a selection of statements by PA officials, and particularly Chairman Yasser Arafat, in the three years since the beginning of the Oslo process. The statements appear in reverse chronological order.
* Hani al-Hasan, advisor to Chairman Arafat, at a memorial service for Fathi Shikaki, the slain leader of Islamic Jihad: "Fathi Shikaki is a giant among the giants of the Palestinian people, one of the giants of the nation. He believed in Islam and he spread it. He was the teacher of generations who understood that where there is unity there is victory, and where there is fear there is defeat, without connection to the views that one holds." (An-Nahar, Oct. 29, 1996)
* Arafat in an October 21 speech at the Dehaishe refugee camp: "We know only one word: jihad, jihad, jihad. When we stopped the intifada, we did not stop the jihad for the establishment of a Palestinian state whose capital is Jerusalem. And we are now entering the phase of the great jihad prior to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state whose capital is Jerusalem…We are in a conflict with the Zionist movement and the Balfour Declaration and all imperialist activities." (Yediot Ahronot, Oct. 23, 1996)
* Arafat to a delegation of Hebron Arab notables urging the use of violence: "Have you run out of stones in Hebron? Prepare the stones,"
(Voice of Israel, Oct. 21, 1996).
* Arafat in an October 10 speech before the Palestinian Council: "Negotiations have achieved nothing up until now. As a consequence, we must be ready in every way to confront all possibilities. You must understand what I mean by this." (Near East Report, Oct. 21, 1996)
* Arafat in an interview with the Palestinian newspaper Al-Ayyam, calls for "mass confrontations in all cities and villages to confront the Israeli aggression against Al-Aksa mosque" (cited in the New York Times, Oct. 4, 1996)
* Arafat to Palestinian security forces in Gaza on September 24: "They will fight for Allah, and they will kill and be killed, and this is a solemn oath…Our blood is cheap compared with the cause which has brought us together and which at moments separated us, but shortly we will meet again in heaven…Palestine is our land and Jerusalem is our capital"
(Ma’ariv, Oct. 4, 1996)
* On August 30, Muhammad Dahlan, a senior Gaza PA security official, said: "The Palestinian Authority does not exclude the return to the armed struggle, and it will then use its weapons." (cited in the Jerusalem Report, Nov. 28, 1996)
* On August 6, Arafat called Israel a "demon" and urged Arabs to use "all means" at their disposal to fight Israel (The New York Times, Aug. 7, 1996)
* Arafat to a rally in Gaza: "We are committed to all martyrs who died for the cause of Jerusalem starting with Ahmed Musa until the last martyr Yihye Ayyash." (Jerusalem Post, July 28, 1996) Musa was the first member of Fatah to be killed in 1965, and Ayyash, known as "the Engineer", was the mastermind behind a series of Hamas suicide bombing attacks prior to his death in January 1996.
* PA Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Sheikh Ikram Sabri in a sermon at Al-Aqsa Mosque: Palestinians should "rise up with all their might against the occupation." (Jerusalem Post, June 14, 1996)
* Arafat threatening Israel with violence: "If Israel rejects our demands there will be a reaction and we have a 30,000 man armed force." (Israel Radio, June 7, 1996)
* Arafat alleging that a secret Israeli military group, OAS, was behind terror attacks against Israelis ; "We have clues that some of the recent operations in Israel were carried out in cooperation with the OAS in Israel." (Jerusalem Post, April 30, 1996)
* PA Ministry of Information, in a statement issued to the media on April 22, comparing Israel’s actions with those of the Nazis: "While the Israeli government is speaking about the atrocities committed against the Jews at Auschwitz, Birkenau and Dachau concentration camps…it is directly involved these days in weaving plots and causing two major catastrophes to their neighbors…Our homeland was transformed into a big concentration camp…"
* Arafat claiming Israel supplied weapons to terrorist groups for suicide bombings against Israelis: "These weapons could be obtained only from high authorities with great influence on the Israeli side." (Jerusalem Post, March 22, 1996)
* Arafat asserting that Israel armed Hamas and Islamic Jihad. "We must remember that these organizations were created by Israel, which also distributed arms to them, so are we supposed to collect the arms Israel distributed?" (DPA German News Agency, Feb.28, 1996)
* PA Planning Minister Nabil Shaath at a symposium: "If the negotiations reach a dead end, we shall go back to the struggle and strife, as we did for 40 years. It is not beyond our capabilities…If and when Israel will say, ‘That’s it, we won’t talk about Jerusalem, we won’t return refugees, we won’t dismantle settlements, and we won’t retreat from borders,’ then all the acts of violence will return. Except that this time we’ll have 30,00 armed Palestinian soldiers who will operate in areas in which we have unprecedented elements of freedom" (Jerusalem Post, March 15, 1996)
* Voice of Palestine on February 28 asserted that suicide bombing attacks against Israelis were the work of Israeli Knesset Member Rehavam Zeevi "and the Israeli extreme right-wing organization Eyal." (cited in the Jerusalem Post, March 15, 1996)
* PA Planning Minister Nabil Shaath, in an interview with Le Monde: "I am, convinced like Arafat, that these attacks could not have been carried out without cooperation from Israeli extremists." (cited in Ha’aretz, March 6, 1996)
* Selim Zaanoun, acting chairman of the Palestinian National Council, at Arafat’s inauguration: "We are returning to Palestine, and we are passing from the small Jihad to the great Jihad." (Jerusalem Post, Feb.13,1996)
* Arafat on Yihye Ayyash, Hamas mastermind of suicide bombing attacks against Israel: "a hero of the Palestinian people" and a "martyr." (New York Times, Jan.8, 1996)
* Arafat on the intifada: "Our oath is still in force and our commitment is still valid to continue in the path of the heroes and the dead of the intifada." (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 17, 1995)
* Arafat in a radio address: "The struggle will continue until all of Palestine is liberated." (Voice of Palestine, Nov. 11, 1995)
* Arafat on pre-1967 Israel: "Be blessed, O Gaza, and celebrate, for your sons are returning after a long celebration. O Gaza your sons are returning. O Lod, O Haifa, O Jerusalem, you are returning, you are returning." (Ma’ariv, Sept. 7, 1995)
* Arafat in a speech on September 3 publicly praising Abir al-Wahidi, involved in the murder of Israeli Zvi Klein in 1991, and Dalal al- Maghrabi, who took part in the coastal Road massacre in 1978 which killed 37 Israelis: "Yes, we are proud of the Palestinian girl, the Palestinian woman and the Palestinian child who fulfilled these miracles. The Palestinian woman participated in the Palestinian revolution. The Palestinian girl participated in the Palestinian revolution. Abir al Wahidi, commander of the central region and Dalal al-Maghrabi, Martryr of Palestine. I bow in respect and admiration to the Palestinian woman who receives her martyred son with joyful cheering. The soul and blood for you, O Palestine!" (Israel Channel Two Television, Sept. 19, 1995).
* Arafat in August 1995: "The Israelis are mistaken if they think we do not have an alternative to negotiations. By Allah I swear they are wrong. The Palestinian people are prepared to sacrifice the last boy and the last girl so that the Palestinian flag will be flown over the walls, the churches, and the mosques of Jerusalem." (Ha’aretz, September 6, 1995; The Jerusalem Post, Sept.7, 1995)
* Arafat in a speech in Gaza: "The soul and the blood we shall sacrifice for thee Palestine." (Jerusalem Post, Aug. 3, 1995)
* Arafat in a speech at Gaza’s Al-Azhar University on June 19: "The commitment still stands and the oath is still valid: that we will continue this long jihad, this difficult jihad…via deaths, via sacrifices."
(Jerusalem Post, Aug. 3, 1995) Arafat also praised Dalal al-Maghrabi, one of the perpetrators of the 1978 Coastal Road Massacre in which 37 Israelis were killed: "She was one of the heroes…She commanded the group that established the first Palestinian republic in a bus…This is the Palestinian woman…the woman we are proud of." (Jerusalem Post, Aug. 3, 1995) He further stated, "We are all seekers of martyrdom in the path of truth and right toward Jerusalem, the capital of the State of Palestine."
(Ha’aretz, Aug. 3 1995)
* Faisal Husseini in an interview: "There will be an intifada not just in Jerusalem, but in all the occupied territories and in all the Middle East." (Israel Radio, May 21; Ha’aretz, May 22, 1995)
* PA Justice Minister Freih Abu Middein in a radio interview: "We have a standing committee to follow up on the Jerusalem issue and the latest relevant developments. There will also be popular moves to mobilize resources in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza, even if this calls for a new intifada, no matter what impact this will have. (Cairo Radio, May 20, cited in FBIS, May 22, 1995)
* PA Justice Minister Freih Abu Middein in a speech read in Arafat’s name at Gaza’s Shawa Cultural Center: "I say once more that Israel shall remain the principal enemy of the Palestinian people, not only now but also in the future." (Voice of Palestine, May 12, 1995) One month previously at Gaza’s Al-Azhar University, Abu Middein said, "We must remember that the main enemy of the Palestinian people, now and forever, is Israel. This is a truth that must never leave our minds." (An-Nahar, April 11, 1995; Jerusalem Post, April 17, 1995)
* Faisal Husseini in an interview with the Egyptian weekly Al-Arabi: "If Israel continues to undermine the path to peace there will be no other alternative but that called for by the Islamist Palestinian opposition the military option." (Agence France Presse, May 1, 1995)
* Arafat, at a rally in Gaza, compared the Oslo Accord with the temporary truce between Muhammad and the Quraish tribe, which was later broken, and said, "We signed that agreement in Oslo, and if any of you has one objection to it, I have one hundred objections." (Voice of Palestine, April 16, cited in FBIS, April 18, 1995)
* PA Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Sheikh Ikram Sabri: "Jerusalem is under occupation and the Moslems of the world should liberate it by jihad and put in under Islamic and Arabic authority The jihad is not just a war jihad we are talking about all means to get back Jerusalem." (Al-Sharq al-Awsat, April 7, 1995; Jerusalem Post, May 3, 1995)
* Arafat in a message marking Land Day: "We promise you, oh our great nation, and we promise you, oh our pure martyrs, that we will continue the revolution until the victory and until the flag of my country flies over the towers of Jerusalem. This is a revolution until victory." (Voice of Palestine, March 31, 1995)
* PA Planning Minister Nabil Sha’ath in an interview with Al-Watan on February 28: "If it becomes certain that the negotiations process with Israel is ending in failure, there will be no other option other than jihad." (cited in FBIS, March 1 1995)
* Arafat in a speech relayed by telephone to a Hebron rally: "Our nation is a nation of sacrifice, struggle and jihad." (Voice of Palestine, Feb. 14, 1995)
* Arafat in a speech in Gaza: "We are all on our way to die as heroes on the road to Jerusalem, the capital of the state of Palestine." (Jerusalem Post, Jan. 30, 1995)
* Arafat in a speech in Gaza in Jan. 1995: "All of us are willing to be martyrs along the way, until our flag flies over Jerusalem, the capital of Palestine. Let no one think that they can scare us with weapons, for we have mightier weapons the weapon of faith, the weapon of martyrdom, the weapon of jihad." (Parade Magazine, New York Newsday, June 25, 1995)
* Arafat in a speech on the 30th anniversary of Fatah’s founding: "We are going to continue the Palestinian revolution until the last martyr to create a Palestinian state." (AFP, Jan. 1, 1995) He further stated, "We are all seekers of martyrdom…I say to the martyrs who died, to the martyrs who are still alive, we hold to the oath, we hold to the commitment to continue the revolution…" (Palestinian TV, Jan. 1, 1995)
* Arafat in an address to the Organization of the Islamic Conference: "The glorious Islamic solidarity together with our people’s jihad is an additional inducement for the realization of our hopes." (Voice of Palestine, Dec. 15, 1994)
* Arafat at a rally in Gaza: "Our people will continue with its jihad."
(Ha’aretz, Nov. 22, 1994)
* Arafat during a speech in Gaza: "Today, we are celebrating our independence for the first time on Palestinian land, and we will continue to celebrate on Palestinian lands that will be freed from the Zionist enemy. We will take all open and freed land, and we will establish our state on those territories from which the Israeli enemy leaves." (Yediot Ahronot, Nov. 16, 1994)
* Arafat in a letter to Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Yassin and Hamas terrorist Sheikh Hunamn, who killed 14 Israelis in an attack on Bus 405 in 1989: "My brother, Sheikh Yassin, my brother the holy Sheikh Abdelhadi Hunam, I recognize your participation in the struggle to free Palestine. Because of you, Palestine is free." (Ha’aretz, Oct. 5, 1994)
* Arafat in a letter to Saddam Hussein: "The Palestinian people will continue their war until the establishment of a state whose capital will be Jerusalem." (Yediot Ahronot, July 24, 1994)
* Jibril Rajoub in an interview: "We will continue to fight until the creation of a state with Jerusalem as its capital." (Agence France Press, May 31, 1994)
* Rashid Abu Shbak, a senior PA security official, on pre-1967 Israel: "The light which has shone over Gaza and Jericho will also reach the Negev and the Galilee." (Yediot Ahronot, May 29, 1994)
* Jibril Rajoub in a lecture at Bethlehem University: "We sanctify the weapons found in the possession of the national factions which are directed against the occupation … If there are those who oppose the agreement with Israel, the gates are open to them to intensify the armed struggle." (Yediot Ahronot, May 27, 1994)
* Arafat at a mosque in Johannesburg, South Africa on May 10, 1994: "The jihad will continue … You have to understand our main battle is Jerusalem … You have to come and to fight a jihad to liberate Jerusalem, your precious shrine … No, it is not their capital. It is our capital."
(Israel Radio, May 17, 1994; Jerusalem Post, May 18, 1994) Arafat further stated that the Oslo Accord was akin to the temporary truce between Muhammad and the Quraish tribe, which was later broken: "This agreement, I am not considering it more than the agreement which had been signed between our prophet Muhammad and Quraish, and you remember that the Caliph Omar had refused this agreement and considered it a despicable truce … But the same way Muhammad had accepted it, we are now accepting this peace effort." (Ha’aretz, May 23, 1994)
* Jibril Rajoub in an interview: "Rabin has to remove all the settlers from the West Bank and Gaza and transfer them to hell." He later warned: "We shall distribute weapons to the Palestinian residents and return to the armed struggle." (Yediot Ahronot, March 4, 1994)
* Arafat during a speech in Gaza: "The heroic intifada, which has entered its seventh year, is an extension of the 29-year old Palestinian revolution and will go on relentlessly … It is continuing, continuing, continuing." (Associated Press, Jan. 7, 1994)
1993 (after the Oslo Accords were made public)
* Arafat in a radio address: "It is a revolution until victory, until victory, until victory." (Algiers, Voice of Palestine, Dec. 31, 1993)
* Faisal Husseini in a speech at Bir Zeit University on November 22: "Everything you see and hear today is for tactical and strategic reasons. We have not given up the rifle. We still have armed gangs in the areas and if we do not get our state we will take them out of the closet and fight again." (Ma’ariv, Nov. 24, 1993)
* Voice of Palestine report: "Yasser Arafat stressed the continuation of struggle until the Palestinian flag is hoisted over Jerusalem’s walls."
(Voice of Palestine, Oct. 24, 1993)
* Arafat in a speech on Jordanian TV: "Palestine is only a stone’s throw away for a small Palestinian boy or girl." (Jordanian TV, Sept. 13, 1993)
* Arafat asserting that the Oslo Accord is part of the PLO’s 1974 phased plan for Israel’s destruction: "[the agreement] will be a basis for an independent Palestinian state in accordance with the Palestinian National Council resolution issued in 1974 … The PNC resolution issued in 1974 calls for the establishment of a national authority on any part of Palestinian soil from which Israel withdraws or which is liberated."
(Radio Monte Carlo, Sept. 1, 1993)