This time Sheikh Abu Sneina rejected any solution for Jerusalem outside
of Islam: any settlement involving Israel or even international authorities
in any way shape or form would be rejected, he said, in his mosque speech
carried live on the Voice of Palestine.
What was most interesting in his speech was his placing of
the problem of the Palestinian refugees AHEAD of the problem of Jerusalem.
Sheikh Abu-Sneina said that no Muslim could tolerate any foreign sovereignty anywhere in Jerusalem. Nor would any Muslim tolerate any compromise on the right of return (of Palestinian refugees).
VOP is reporting that the Palestinian Leadership is still considering
American ideas and "opinions," as VOP has taken the cue from Yasser Arafat
(during comments to the press yesterday) that the American initiative not
be called an "initiative" or even "proposals" but "ideas."
Sharon leads Barak in opinion polls for the upcoming election."
Friday Mosque Address-'Eid al-Fitr (Feast Ending Ramadan)
"O Ye, Muslims, know that Eid al-Fitr happily is come upon us and the
Islamic Nation and our Islamic Palestinian people, which is striving and
struggling with difficult circumstances who know that their own only
salvation is with God.
Fighting Martyrs have not stopped competing among themselves to
reach God, Blessings and Praise be heaped on His Exaltedness (i.e. suicide
bombers vie with each other for the chance to become a martyr), and the
wounded have reached the thousands, and before God and his mercy, our people
are standing in their the heroic stance..
These are difficult days, stressful occurrences requiring deprivation in
our efforts, as we operate in martyrdom and purposefulness.united, as one,
cohesively against the American-Israeli conspiracy.
And remember, o Ye Muslims, that victory is assured to those who strive
O ye Muslims, regarding the city of Jerusalem, the capital of Islam and
the Muslims.home of our Islamic study, land of the revelation and the mystic
night journey, and the blessed Al Aqsa Mosque, symbol of our Islamic
perseverance, symbol of the dialogue between infidels and believers,
between Unity and Partnership (i.e. the differences in belief between pure
monotheism as evinced in Islam and other beliefs holding more than one God
or Trinity etc), between what is Islam and what is outside Islam, God knows
what is taking place in His land.
Praise be on God that the heart of the Islamic people is with us, and
they, wherever they may be, are standing shoulder to shoulder with the
Muslim Palestinian people.
O Ye Muslims, no matter where Zionism moves its military bases or its
State of Israel, or its neighborhoods and organizations, it has ailed in its
efforts to Judaize the city of Jerusalem and to blur its Islamic character
since it seized it in '67-despite all its means, efforts and devices.
O ye Muslims, all these international commission decisions lead to
requiring an international solution, to the internationalization of
Jerusalem, to the internationalization of the holy city, and this with the
dispatch of an international force of various nationalities to the
Jerusalem of the Prince of the Faithful 'Omar (i.e. the Islamic Caliph Omar
from the seventh century, who conquered Jerusalem) and the Jerusalem of
Sallah-al-Din (Salladin) Al-Ayyubi-and in all this there is a great danger
from which we should beware. And we should call on all Arab leaders to
reject this idea.
Our Jerusalem is not open for partition or dissection or sharing or
having its ground-sanctified with pure culture and the blood of
martyrs-defiled (with foreigners). God protect us: the
internationalization of Jerusalem is nothing but occupation in
another garb from the Israeli garb. ..All this is a degradation
and diminishment of the Islamic quality of Beit al-Maqdas.
(Note: Beit al-Maqdas is the classical name for Jerusalem in Arabic,
derived from the Hebrew term Beit ha-Miqdash, the Hebrew term for the
Temple. The more modern term for Jerusalem in modern Arabic is al-Quds).
But of all the problems we discuss, the (most important is) the right of
return for the Palestinian refugees. The problem of the Arab-Israeli
conflict is not Jerusalem because Jerusalem represents the dialogue of
conviction (between religious points of view), but the case of the return of
the refugees is the central case..
And from this sacred pulpit, we say to the Islamic peoples that the case
of the displaced and the refugees is the first priority, the most important
case which causes the continuation of strife in the region in the Middle
East as a whole..
And from here we say, too, to all our friends that Al Aqsa and all its
grounds-what are underground and those above ground.east or west are Islamic
by divine decree..
So let us say finally that Jerusalem can only exist under Islamic
sovereignty, God, His Exaltedness, Willing.
And there will only be peace with the return of the refugees to their
NOTE: There was no disclaimer by VOP before or after broadcast, regarding
the Palestinian Authority's consent or agreement with the the Sheikh's
mosque speech, and the fact that he is often featured on VOP and the
televised broadcasts of the PBC.
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Official PA radio news - the PBC radio Dec. 30-31
Summary and Analysis
Officials of the PA took a hard line during VOP broadcasts Saturday and
Sunday, explicitly toughening negotiating positions publicly while also
promising an intensification of para-military activities against Israelis.
Prominent hard-liners - e.g., Marwan Barghouti and Farouk Qaddoumi-- were
featured throughout the day on both Saturday and Sunday on different
subjects, but always pushing the continuation of the "intifada" and offering
a skeptical view of prospects for any deal with Israel. Barghouti
specifically called for escalating attacks on Israel (see Barghouti Saturday
interview below, day before Kahane deaths) and threatened reprisals (see
Sunday remarks after Thabit death). Barghouti said the Fatah Movement would
spur its operational activities for two weeks to mark the official founding
of the Fatah (January 1, 1965).
The thrust of remarks by Qaddoumi and Saeb Erikat was that the
Palestinian Authority was not being subjected to Arab pressure to accede to
American ideas and that the PA would work through the upcoming Arab summit
(now projected for Thursday) to achieve an Arab consensus on American ideas.
Sunday Morning Headlines-Dec. 31, 8:00 a.m.
- "In the flurry of diplomatic activity, His Excellency President
Yasser Arafat holds talks in the Tunisian capital today with the President
of Tunisia Zaid Abdeen Ibn Ali, about the latest aggressions committed
against the Palestinian people by Israel and also about the Palestinian view
concerning the American ideas and opinions offered recently by the American
- Dr. Saeb Erikat, Local Rule Minister, is in Amman today for talks
with Jordanian Foreign Minister Abdel-Hillal al-Khatib about the latest
developments in the Palestinian lands and about the Palestinian view
concerning American ideas and opinions; And Dr. Erikat told us in a
statement this morning that the American Administration was requiring a
response in principle to its ideas before responding to Palestinian
questions regarding them. And Dr Erikat said that it was impossible to talk
about fateful issues such as the refugees and Jerusalem and security and
water and so forth in a pompous way, and that the Palestinian Authority was
demanding the American administration clear responses on these matters..And
Dr. Erikat denied that the Palestinian Authority had been subjected to
pressures from any Arab parties..;
- Mr. Farouk Qaddoumi, the head of the PLO Political Department asserts
that the American ideas do not differ markedly from the ideas offered at
- Israeli broadcasts say this morning that one settler was killed not
far from the settlement of Ofra built on our citizens' lands, and one report
from the French news agency says that the settler was Binyamin Ze'ev Kahane,
son of the extremist Rabbi Meir Kahane;
- Israeli occupation forces continued their aggression against the sons
of our people in a variety of districts in the homeland, strengthening the
closure on several cities, towns and (refugee) camps, involving 18 citizens
in injuries in Gaza and Rafah.;
- A special Papal representative from His Holiness Pope John Paul II
will reach His Excellency President Yasser Arafat tomorrow..;
- Iraqi Health Ministry Director Zuheir Sa'id announced the dispatch of
an Iraqi medical team to Amman-the fourth of its kind-- to help wounded from
the Intifada in Jordanian hospitals.sent by direction of Iraqi President
Saddam Hussein to help those hurt in the Intifada;
- Saudi Regent Prince Abdullah Ibb Abdel-Aziz said that it was incumbent
to execute the dispatch of an international protection force for protecting the Palestinian people.;
Sunday Afternoon-1 p.m.
(headlines added or changed since the morning newsreel)
- "The Palestinian Authority puts responsibility on Israel for the
assassination Dr. Thabit Thabit, Fatah secretary in Tulkarm
- Marwan Barghouti said the people would avenge the act of
Saturday Morning Headlines, Dec. 30
- "Masses in Gaza will accompany today the exalted martyr Mahmoud Ali
Nseir, 26 years old, who was martyred when the security forces were
subjected to Israeli artillery fire in the Beit Hanoun Crossing Point.;
- The Leadership again renewed its demand to implement decisions of
international legitimacy (i.e. resolutions 242, 338 and 194) in connection
with the occupied Palestinian lands, saying we will cling to every grain of
our land and to the right of return for the refugees to their homes. The
Leadership, in a statement issued after its weekly meeting in Gaza last
night, said there could be no solution whatsoever in which our people and
our Leadership retreat under military pressure, forsaking in a humiliating
way even one grain of our holy land, our Jerusalem and our holy
places-Christian and Islamic. The Leadership declared that it clings
completely to the right of return for the refugees to their homes and
residences according to Resolution 194. The Leadership said it was patiently
trying to get out of the present situation--replete with siege and
aggression-in the negotiations...It said the Israeli positions were the same
positions as in Camp David..The Leadership declared its willingness to enter
serious and final talks under international aegis without a fixed and
short timetable based on international legitimacy;
- Nabil Abu-Irdeineh, President Yasser Arafat's advisor, said the
Palestinians would not accept any agreement that did not safeguard complete
Palestinian sovereignty over East Jerusalem and the holy Jerusalem Shrine
- The National and Islamic forces and units of the PLO expressed their
confidence in President Yasser Arafat and the Leadership's stance of refusal
to the American proposals in their present form.It stressed the necessity of
continuing the Intifada until occupation is defeated and independence
Interview with Fatah Secretary, Marwan Barghouti
7:45 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 30:
Q: "What is the stance of the Fatah movement regarding the American
A: "It is a clear position which the Fatah movement has enunciated, and that
is that any proposal, unless it is based on the core Palestinian principles,
will not be accepted by the Fatah Movement. .Any proposal and any agreement
must be based on complete Palestinian Arab sovereignty on the city of
Jerusalem and the Right of Return for the Palestinian refugees to their
homes and residences according to Resolution 194, as well as the removal and
termination of the settlements and the return to the June 4, 1967 borders.
(Anything Else) will not be acceptable and refused conmpletely by the
Palestinian people and not just by the Fatah Movement.
And in this sphere we are completely as one with the President, Yasser
Arafat who expressed his complete refusal to the American proposals which
are nothing but Israeli ideas."
Q: "What do you say about Israeli statements refusing Palestinian
sovereignty over Haram al-Sharif?"
A: "Barak is not serious when he talks about peace and about seeking
agreement. The only thing that moves him is winning the election, and not
(also: rather than) executing the peace process. The other thin is that the
national rights of the Palestinians do not figure in his time frame-neither
for Barak nor for anyone else (i.e. the other Israeli candidate). Therefore,
we believe without Arab sovereignty not only over Al Aqsa but over the city
of Jerusalem in its entirety as being part of the Palestinian Arab lands
captured in '67, there will be no success for any agreement or for any
peace. And it would be wise for the rulers from Tel Aviv (i.e. the Israeli
government) to understand the winds of history and the message of this
Intifada and resign themselves to the firm rights of the Palestinian people.
Without them there will be no peace, no security and no stability in this
Q: "What is the future program of the Fatah Movement (on the occasion of its
A: "We during these days will commemorate and reinforce the martyrdom of the
heroes of our movement, who struggled and strove in heroism, who fell in
heroic operations, and we send our good health and greetings to the
prisoners and to its Leadership and its commanders, its members, and its
formations and to its wounded and to all its strivers and to all its
institutions.above all to the Brother, the President, the Leader, Abu Amar
(nickname of Arafat). And we are armed with our blessed intifada which will
terminate the Israeli occupation. And the year 2001 will be the year of
independence and the year of Return and the year of sovereignty.."
Q: "Any special programs or celebrations?"
A: "Fatah movement will celebrate in its own special way, in the way of
struggle (i.e. operations), and there will operations that will be unleashed
tomorrow, Sunday, the 31st, and a popular march through the communities of
the Homeland in various towns, villages and cities..
And on the first of the first (January 1) all the Palestinian lands and
prefectures will see military marches and demonstrations, and the coming two
weeks will be days of escalation and Fatah rage against the Occupation."
Coverage of Terror
The deaths of two Israelis-Binyamin Kahane and his wife-was covered
quite differently than the death of Fatah Secretary in Tulkarm Thabit
- In the former, there was no mention made of the fact that an entire
civilian family was attacked--father and mother killed, five children
wounded, one gravely. VOP did not report the fact that the passengers were
children ranging in age from two months to ten years. There was no
condemnation of the attack. Rather, Kahane was called a settler from Ofra
(incorrect) which VOP stressed was a settlement built on citizens' lands
(also incorrect, since Ofra was built on public state lands, not privately
owned). In addition, VOP emphasized in several of its broadcasts that
Binyamin Kahane was the sone of the "extremist rabbi" Meir Kahane (not
mentioning that he, too, was murdered, by an Arab assassin in New York);
- In the latter death, VOP carried PA condemnations of the
"assassination policy" of Israel, not mentioning that Thabit Thabit, as
Fatah secretary of Tulkarm, had had a strong hand in planning and executing
attacks on Israeli settlers and civilian vehicles
Quotes from Interview with Ziad Abu-Ziad, PA Jerusalem Minister
Sunday (7:40 a.m.)
"The Wailing Wall-what is the Burak Wall-is part of the Al Aqsa Mosque.
The American ideas are nothing but Israeli ideas. The American ideas
are nothing but Israeli ideas in American cloaking.
We are thinking not only of the Palestinians who are here now, but also
the Palestinians who will be here in the future-the refugees."
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