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Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Call for non-violent intifada published in PA daily

Signed by 155, including Sari Nusseibah, Yasser Abed Rabbo and Hanan Ashrawi
Translated and discussed at MEMRI, excerpted here.
(March 27, 2004)

"We the undersigned, the sons of the Palestinian people, from various political, ideological, and social frameworks that are united in their struggle and steadfastness, condemn Israel's blatant aggression against our people, which was manifested a couple of days ago in the criminal and base act carried out by Sharon and his extreme right-wing gang that led to the martyr death of the leader Sheikh Ahmad Yassin and his freedom-fighting companions.

"[Even while] we stress the rights of our people, which have been confirmed by all the international treaties, [and stress our right] to use all means to defend our people, even if we explode from pain at the terrible tragedy, we call upon the sons of our people across the homeland to [do as] the national interest dictates: To take the initiative from the hands of the criminal occupation gang, to contain the rage, and to rise up again a non-violent Intifada of the masses, broad in scope, with clear goals and [a] sane message, to be initiated and led by our freedom-fighting people.

"[This Intifada] will make Sharon miss the opportunity to crown his aggression against our people and against the holy places with the final touches of his security plan.

"As we appeal [to make] this Intifada of unity a step toward reawakening to popular activity, purposeful and disciplined, with a clear program and [expected] political yield, we stress our commitment to our just and legitimate demands and to our rights. We call for the unification of the ranks, based on national unity and a united leadership resisting the occupation.

"Enough of the criminal assassination operations. Enough of the bloodshed. Enough of the occupation."

The signatories include:
Al-Quds University president Sari Nusseibah
Former PA minister Yasser Abed Rabbo
PA Minister for Women's Affairs Zuheira Kamal
Fatah Executive Committee Member Abbas Zaki
PA Communications and Technology Minister 'Azzam Al-Ahmad
That same MEMRI Special Dispatch translates and quotes the response from Fatah's Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, published the following day:
"The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades are absolutely opposed to the call by Sari Nusseibah and the People's Campaign for Peace and Democracy, because it reflects a path that weakens the Palestinian stand and serves the occupation.

"The brigades call on the Palestinian public to join the popular Intifada and its activities, and see it [the Intifada] as a vital matter that complements the other forms of resistance and struggle. Just as the marches and demonstrations in the battle against the racist fence were vital, thus the armed struggle has caused the enemy to lose his confidence and his stability and harmed him morally and economically... A true Intifada is a creative combination of both paths."
Then Abu Ala made a speech on March 31:
The struggle against the crimes of the occupation was harmed because of the operations against Israeli civilians. These [operations] served as a pretext for the continuation of the [Israeli] aggression. We have condemned them [i.e., the operations], and we must oppose them morally. We stress again our opposition to these [operations] from this platform, because they harm the image of the [Palestinian] national struggle and create confusion and misunderstanding in the international community. These operations damage us economically and serve as a cover for the Israeli government to continue the settlements and the construction of the fence.

"The opposition to operations [against Israeli civilians] comes not only because they contradict the road map option, but also because they contribute to the accumulated hatred, enmity, and lack of trust ... and weaken the peace camp.

"Despite the great damage caused us since September 28, 2000, that continues until this very moment, our steadfast belief and our adherence to the need to return to negotiations have not weakened... Our hand is still extended to a just peace based on the U.N. resolutions... We still think that negotiations are the best way to achieve our goals and to stop the bloodshed."
You don't think this sudden peace talk has anything to do with the IDF taking out Yassin and Rantisi, do you? Nah, violence only leads to more violence.