Leadership: Palestinians in ‘State of Legitimate Defense’
The Palestinian people, fighting for independence, are in a state of legitimate defense against Israeli "aggression and blockade," the Palestinian leadership said after a meeting in Gaza under its president Yasser Arafat.
"The Palestinian people are in a state of legitimate defense faced with the continuation of the Israeli aggression. The blockade and encirclement must end in order to achieve security and stability in the region," the Palestinian news agency WAFA quoted a statement as saying.
The Israeli army sealed off the Palestinian territories on October 5, a week after the start of the Intifada (struggle) in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Israel itself which has claimed at least 160 lives, almost all Arabs, with more than 4,000 wounded.
"It is clear that the goal of our people is to achieve independence, freedom and the proclamation of a Palestinian state with Al-Quds (east Jerusalem) as its capital," the statement said.
Arafat had said Monday that the central council of the Palestine Liberation Organization would meet before November 15 to decide on whether to proclaim a Palestinian state.
"Peace cannot take place unless the Israeli state withdraws from the Palestinian territories, and especially Al-Quds," the leadership said – GAZA CITY (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)