Hamas Spiritual Leader Calls for Armed Struggle against Israel
The spiritual leader of Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, called Sunday for the Palestinian uprising, or Intifada, to become "an armed struggle against the Israeli occupation."
Yassin told a news conference that 'the Intifada must be transformed into an armed struggle in such a way as to inflict losses on the enemy (Israel) and to force it withdraw its forces from our territories."
"We think that the stone must be replaced by the bomb because the enemy only understands the language of force," he said.
Questioned about the armed activities of the military wing of Hamas, the Ezzeddin Kassam brigades, Sheikh Yassin admitted "they had been going through a difficult period," referring to a crackdown by the Palestinian police.
He said the military branch of his movement, which has claimed responsibility for several deadly attacks on Israelis since 1994, "needed time" to reorganise and that the brigades would soon be "ready for action."
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat said Sunday at the opening of the Islamic summit in Qatar that the Palestinians planned to continue their uprising through to the end of the Israeli occupation.
The violence has left 211 dead, nearly all Arabs, since September 28 -- GAZA CITY (AFP)
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