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A life devoted to Peace among People and,
dignity and freedom for his Palestine people


Newspaper La Nacion
Buenos Aires – Wednesday, October 4 of 2000

There are two victims: Palestinians and Israelis (view)
The Palestinian ambassador accuses Barak of introducing violence; He has asked for Argentine help

·The representative of the Palestine Authority believes that “Israel ignores what has been signed”.

Being a former refugee who had to run away from his land with only two years old in 1948, the Palestinian representative gave the Argentine president a document where he asks for his mediation in the present crisis. He exclusively accuses Israel of being the initiator of it and he cannot hide his preoccupation as the number of deaths increases.

-Was Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Open Area of the Mosques the detonating factor of this new Intifada? Or are there other deeper causes?

-Fundamentally, this matter has been a provocation by former general Ariel Sharon, who is the leader of the Likud party and a well-known war criminal. But the Israeli government was not unaware of such a provocation, because Sharon entered the Ancient City of Jerusalem in company with 2,000 Israeli soldiers last Thursday. This, of course, caused unease in the Palestinian people and in the Israeli progressive sectors.

-Do you accuse Israel of causing violence?

-We expected an immediate reaction on behalf of the Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s government, but unfortunately it did not manage to do anything. On the contrary, the Israeli army flooded the Ancient City with its soldiers who started to severely repress the civil population.

“30% of deaths are children who are under 12. The Palestinian Minister of Health today (referring to yesterday) informed Mrs. Souha Arafat that 40% of the Palestinian martyrs were shot in head and heart. This confirms the fact that among the Israeli soldiers there were snipers under orders to kill.

-The closer you are from peace, the greater the efforts extremists carry out to avoid it.

-There is no doubt that the more fanatic sectors are always ready for ruining any peace intention between the sides in conflict. But it is impossible to stop the advancement of violence when there is no collaboration to stop those fanatic groups from the government of one of the parts in conflict.

-On the Palestinian side, there are also sectors which are committed to peace, right?

-Yes, of course. On both sides there are fanatic groups which are committed to violence. But on the Palestinian side, our government has done its best to stop the advancement of those sectors. Actually, there is no way of advancing when there is a great lack of fulfillment on the side of one of the signers, such as Israel, which has done its best to ignore what has been signed.

-What is the Arafat’s legitimacy grade taking into account that some Palestinians sectors, such as the one headed by colonel Abu Musa (former Al Fatah), claim his resignation and criticize him for submitting to the US pressures?

-Firstly, Abu Musa does not represent the Palestinian interests because he was the author of the massacre of 5,000 Palestinians in Lebanon. On the other hand, we are a democracy. Last year there were elections where 88,1% of the votes favored Arafat. Our firmness was perfectly proven in Camp David, where Arafat stated that we could not proclaim the Palestine State, if Jerusalem was not its capital city. Besides, we do not accept pressures from anybody.

“President Arafat is trying to do his best to obtain our independence in the most decent and fair way for the Palestinian people and in the most decent and fair way for the Israeli people. You have to remember that there are two victims: the Palestinian and Israeli people, who are suffering and sharing the bitterness of their deaths.

-Is Arafat in condition of ordering the finalization of Intifada right now?

-The Intifadas which took place in 1976, 1987 and 1996 were controlled and headed by the PLO and they responded to the unique voice of authority of Yasser Arafat. Arafat has control over the armed forces and the people respect him and obey him. But what can we do when one of the parts in conflict does not fulfil its commitments and does not care about shooting its weapons on the Palestinian chests?

Javier Navia (Journalist)

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