Israel Resource Review 26th Febuary, 2001


Official PA radio news - P.B.C. V.O.P. (Voice of Palestine) Radio: February 26
The "Welcome" of Threats Offered by the P.A. to Colin Powell

Summary and Analysis
Powell Welcomed with Threats

Against the backdrop of the visit of Secretary of State Colin Powell, the Palestinian Authority renewed its demand that the United States take a greater role in Palestinian-Israeli talks based on total Israeli withdrawal and the Palestinian right of return. These points were stressed in quotations from Yasser Arafat, his spokesman Nabil Abu Irdeineh, PLO Executive Secretary Mahmoud Abbas and PA Home Minister Saeb Erikat-as well as a major morning interview by Ta'ib Abd al-Rahim, the PA Presidential secretary (see interview below).

At the same time, V.O.P. did not really downplay its criticism of the U.S. for being pro-Israeli, though it did soft-pedal-for one day at least-- PA calls for a greater role by Europe, Russia and the United Nations. Nevertheless, PA parliamentary speaker Ahmad Qreia was quoted as saying that if the PA did not get satisfaction in from the Bush Administration, it would turn to the UN sponsor rather than the American Administration. V.O.P. itself referred to the remarks of Qreia (a.k.a. Abu Ala) as "tahdid"-a threat. But an even more pronounced threat was stated in the featured morning interview with one of Arafat's top advisors, PA Presidential Secretary Taib Abd-al-Rahim, who said that unless the Palestinians achieved "a just solution"-including a return of refugees-there would be no regional stability and no safeguarding American regional interests.

Despite the strictures of Arab hospitality, V.O.P. felt no compunctions about using its microphones to encourage Palestinians to demonstrate against American policies regarding Israel and Iraq (see Quote of the Day).

In addition to criticism of the U.S. and Israel, the PA is becoming more vocally critical of its Arab and Islamic allies for not turning more funds over to it for Intifada support. And in his interview, Abd al-Rahim actually says the Muslim sponsors are "completing the Israeli siege."

Quote of the Day

"The National and Islamic forces call for expressing today as a day of protest against the prejudiced American policy for Israel and hostile to Iraq."
            From the V.O.P. morning headlines at and 7 a.m. and 8 a.m., several hours before Yasser Arafat hosted Colin Powell in Ramallah

Sunday Morning Round-up Headlines

  • "His Excellency President Yasser Arafat will meet in Ramallah with the head of American diplomacy, Colin Powell, in his first foreign and Middle Eastern leg (jawla, in Arabic, literally, session);
  • The Palestinian Leadership will show Mr. Powell the lines of the Palestinian positions from the negotiations with Israel calling for complete Israeli withdrawal according to the two resolutions 242 and 338 and the return of the refugees and their restoration (to their homes) according to resolution 194;
  • President Arafat says he will demand of Powell that America enlarge its role in the peace process.;
  • Mr. Mahmound Abbas, (a.k.a.) Abu-Mazen, the secretary of the PLO Executive, says that the Israeli withdrawal must be to the lines of June 4, 1967 and that this means the withdrawal from occupied Arab Jerusalem and the demarcation of boundaries between Palestine and Israel;
  • In its meeting, the (Palestinian) leadership asserts the need for Palestinian-Israeli talks to continue from the point at which they left off, and it refused to deal with partial agreements, calling for concentrating on sticking to Israeli execution of its obligations under earlier undertakings;
  • And on the internal level, Israeli occupation forces continue their arbitrary practices, wounded several at various locations in the homeland yesterday;
  • And the sons of our people in Hebron will commemorate the seventh memorial anniversary of the massacre committed in the Ibrahimi Mosque (Cave of the Patriarchs) by the extremist settler Baruch Goldstein, against the rights of our citizens to pray;
  • The Palestinian pilgrims end their blessed pilgrimage today in good health, praise God."

Morning Headlines, 7 a.m. / 8 a.m. / 9 a.m.

  • "The ferocious occupation attack on our people continues at various points in Palestinian territory, and the Khader township was witness to violent confrontations between citizens and occupation soldiers who used various weapons to wound 14 youths, on seriously;
  • One youth was wounded in Nahalin by settlers of Beitar which was built on land taken from Nahalin, and two people were wounded in confrontations in Hebron;
  • His Excellency President Yasser Arafat will meet in Ramallah today with Secretary of State Colin Powell, and the meeting will revolve around the political developments and events in Palestinian lands in the shadow of the Israeli attack on our people. And President Arafat's advisor Nabil Abu Irdeineh asserts that the Palestinian Authority will demand a vigorous American role to revive the peace process;
  • Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Musa says that President Husni Mubarak's meeting with Secretary of State Colin Powell revolved around all the bilateral and regional issues, and Powell said he discussed with President Mubarak the Palestinian-Israeli situation.confirming the American Administration's commitment to work for an agreement based on resolutions 242 and 338;
  • And Powell will meet with the Israeli prime minister-elect, Ariel Sharon, to discuss the Palestinian situation and the Iraqi situation, as well as to prepare for Sharon's trip to Washington next month;
  • The National and Islamic forces call for expressing today as a day of protest against the prejudiced American policy for Israel and hostile to Iraq."

Secong Quote of the Day

"It is the Israeli side that has escalated the violence"

Quotes from Interview with Ta'ib Abd-al-Rahim, PA Presidential Secretary

Question: "What is required of the new Administration?"

Answer: "There is no question that what is required of them, as a new administration, is a re-statement of their commitment to the source authority, resolutions 242 and 338, as well as resolution 194 (Note: which speaks of return of the Palestinian refugees) as an international expression. In addition, they are required to tell the Israeli side to carry out the registered agreements between us and the Israeli side, as well lifting the siege from the Palestinian people in all its forms and stopping the deliberate escalation in violent acts against Palestinian citizens. There is no doubt that this visit is a learning tour to size up the position. I believe that .the Palestinian matter is central to the Middle East question. And without a doubt there cannot be security nor stability nor moderation nor protection of American interests in the region without a solution to the root cause of the conflict and that is a solution to the Palestinian matter-a just solution.

We from our point of view-certainly his excellency the president (i.e. Arafat) we have reached a number of agreements with the Israeli side, and we are ready for the choice of peace and the choice for negotiations. We are committed to the registered agreements [Note: in Arabic, Abd-al-Rahim and other PA officials are using the term waqa'na or muwaqa'a a second form Arabic verb of the root WQ'A which can be creatively construed to mean "to undertake" or "to discharge" or "to carry out" or "to register" or "to perform." This creative ambiguity in the Arabic term allows the PA speakers to contend that they have registered agreements when there were unsigned understandings or partial agreements.]

We are also committed to continuing the agreements with the new Israeli a government after it is formed and to enter into the matter of the final solution [Arabic: al-hal al-nihai'ii, is the term he used, and it is not an editorial comment by the translator] where we left off, whether it be in Taba or any place else."

Question: "The question is whether there is not a certain strangeness to this Palestinian demand, because why did these understandings NOT reach (full) agreements?"

Answer: "Really, the former Israeli prime minister was not serious about reaching agreements. There was time pressure. Although some members of the government (i.e. Barak government) were serious about reaching agreement in Taba when entered into the depths the matter of reaching a final solution. But Barak opposed this and blocked an agreement."

Question: "Is it possible that the negotiations will move from this point to a point where they will be internationalized (Arabic: tadweel) and brought to the United Nations?"

Answer: "We demand that the negotiations proceed with the new government after it is formed from the point at which they (the talks) ended in Taba. And there is no question but that there was progress in Taba..Our demand that the talks proceed from they left off is an expression of right and seriousness in the peace process. Barak's comment that nothing but a dream remains of the understandings in Taba is something. stands in the face of all norms, all customs and international laws. That is very dangerous..The Americans are witnesses to the talks.. We cannot go back to square one..And we say that an isolation of the United States from the peace process is a ..return to violence and instability. If the new American administration is serious, and it is a partner to the Geneva proposals of the 90's, then it has to bring other international sponsors into the peace process to help it (the U.S.) to succeed with the process. To bring in Europe, to bring in the United Nations, to bring in Arab parties such as Egypt and Jordan and others, so that we can move the peace process forward. Without these partners, I am concerned that the process will be incomplete."

Question: "Ariel Sharon says that there will no negotiations until-as he says-there will be a stopping of violence. What is your reaction?"

Answer: "There is no doubt that his excellency the president initiated sending letter to Sharon after his election success (NOTE: this is probably the first prominent mention of such a letter on V.O.P.) stating our commitment to the peace process and the source authority of the peace process, resolution 242 and 338 and 194 especially with respect to the refugees. And he (Arafat) said our hand is extended to continue the process, to carry out the registered agreements and to pursue a complete solution. And Sharon responded to his excellency the president-also with a letter-asserting his commitment to the source authority of the peace process 242 and 338 and agreeing to carry out all agreements..But I have to say that Sharon according to our information in our hands is ready for relaxation (i.e. easing the siege and economic strictures) in return for what he calls a stopping of the violence. But violence is what is practiced by the Israeli side. It is the side that escalates violence."

Question: "What about the Arab assistance to us? Only a small portion has reached us. What is the cause?"

Answer: "It appears that it is a political decision taken against us, it is clear. We have been told by the International Bank (sic) that , and that is what President Arafat was told in Davos. Unfortunately, the Islamic Bank is completing the policy of siege that is practiced against us by the Israeli side. Our people are in need of steadfastness. They do not want to get rich by the Intifada and they do not want to glorify the martyrs only. Nor do they want to glorify the steadfast struggle of our people. They want support for the steadfast resistance."

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Official PA radio news: Not to Open Fire on Israeli Targets from Inside
P.B.C. V.O.P. (Voice of Palestine) Radio: February 23rd - 24th

Friday Afternoon Summary and Analysis, February 23

In its Friday 4 p.m. afternoon broadcast, V.O.P. relayed the instructions of the Fatah movement not to open fire on Israeli targets from inside residential areas. As in several similar calls over recent months, the Fatah call is not a call for non-violence but rather a directive for controlled violence against Israeli targets.

Indeed, the Fatah committee's statement was nothing less than a full-fledged declaration of continued armed Palestinian attacks until Intifada goals are realized.

Friday Afternoon Four p.m., February 23 Round-up Headlines

  • "The martyring of Ra'id Hussein Musa, hit by fire in his chest;
  • Occupation crimes continue against our people across the homeland;
  • Occupation forces bombard with heavy guns and artillery the houses of citizens in Muassy in southern Gaza this morning;
  • In Hebron, occupation forces invaded the town of Tsurif and arrested three citizens;
  • The Supreme Movement Committee of the Fatah Movement in the (West) Bank calls for not firing on israeli targets from within residential neighborhoods so as not to give cause to the occupation authorities cause to continue their crimes against the rights of our people. The Supreme Committee said our people will not give up their means and capabilities through a continuing Intifada until the realization of national goals. Fatah called for the need to fulfill this commitment not only as a movement goal but also as a national imperative;
  • His Excellency President Arafat arrived in Athens today.His Excellency will be visiting Austria call for a greater European role in the peace process.;
  • The National Authority warned against an attempt by Israel to try to wrest any part of sovereign Palestinian territory. The Cabinet secretary Ahmad Abd-al-Rahman said any such attempt would cost Israel dearly.The cabinet secretary criticized the statement of President George Bush regarding Iraq.and he said American prejudice towards Israel was encouraging its aggression against our people;
  • Public opinion poll across various parts of the homeland shows strong support for continuing the Intifada. Seventy-two percent favor continuing the Intifada, while only one point four percent oppose the Intifada. [Note: poll does not mention undecided or number of those polled or who conducted poll];
  • Iraqi Foreign Ministry director Nizar Hamdoun said Iraq expects another American-British attack on its territory soon.;
  • Egyptian newspapers published today criticized America's Middle East policies on the eve of the visit of Secretary of State Colin Powell;
  • Yemeni police report that five people were killed in clashes related to local elections.;
  • British Prime Minister Tony Blair held his first summit with President George Bush in Washington today."

Saturday Morning Summary, February 24

V.O.P. set the stage for the Powell visit with continued coverage of Palestinian-Israeli clashes and a call for greater American role, especially to press Israel for concessions. There was again coverage of alleged Israeli use of various gases in fighting in Khan Yunis.

V.O.P. quoted Palestinian officials condemning massive Israeli violence that has led to more than 400 dead civilians and more than 20,000 wounded according to the PA's figures.

V.O.P. re-broadcast portions of Friday morning's interview with Ahmad Abd-al-Rahman warning that any Israeli invasion of PA territory "would not be an outing."

Saturday Morning Headlines, February 24

  • Masses of our people in Bethlehem will escort the exalted martyr Ra'id Hussein Mahmoud Musa from al-Khader struck by fire in the chest;
  • The vicious Israeli attack against our people continues, as does the military and economic siege."

7 a.m. / 8 a.m. / 9 a.m. News Bulletin Headlines

  • " Masses of our people in Bethlehem today will escort the exalted martyr, the youth, Ra'id Hussein Mahmoud Musa, 17 years old, who was struck in the heart by occupation fire in al-Khader;
  • 17 wounded in occupation attacks in al-Khader, el-Breh, Jenin and Hebron;
  • His Excellency President Yasser Arafat arrives today in Amman, heading from Athens after a European round in Austria and Greece.;
  • PLO Executive Secretary Mahmound Abbas-Abu Mazen-accuses Israel has poisoned the atmosphere and escalated the Intifada.;
  • Israel prevents a parliamentary delegation headed by Salim Za'anoun from visiting Abu Dhabi.;
  • Israeli press sources say Israeli Housing Ministry is slated to build 700 new settlement units in colony Psagot near the city of Ramallah;
  • American State Department to publish on Monday its human rights world report. And press sources will criticize Israeli violations of human rights in Palestinian territories;
  • American Secretary of State Colin Powell visits Cairo today in a Middle Eastern tour including five capitals.;
  • Israeli Broadcasting says the Labor Party has agreed to conditions of rightist parties to enter Sharon Government, giving up demand for ministry of finance;
  • Russian foreign Ministry considers American attack on Iraq a violation of UN decisions;
  • 13 killed in Algerian massacre."

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