Damascus-Based Palestinians React with Anger to ‘Israeli Brutal Crackdown’

Published September 30th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

By Nabil Al Mulhem 

Chief Correspondent-Damascus 



The Israeli military crackdown on Palestinians in Jerusalem Friday in which seven Palestinians were killed and hundreds others injured drew angry reactions from Palestinian leaders and factions based in Damascus. Clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli soldiers flared up following a visit to Al-Aqsa compound by the leader of the Israeli rightist Likud party, Ariel Sharon, on Thursday. 



Former head of the Palestine National Council Khaled Fahoum told Albawaba.com that the confrontations with the Israeli soldiers in the Palestinian lands meant the uprising of the Palestinian people known as Intifada was renewed. 

“The visit by Ariel Sharon who was surrounded by hundreds of armed men to Al-Aqsa compound is a new provocationthat cannot be ignored, and the Israeli police crackdown on worshippers in the holy compound opened the door for violence.” 

“As we know, a massacre happened in an Arab Islamic area, the church of the Holy Sepulchre is also an Arab-Christian shrine, and the Palestinians cannot give up their sovereignty over them,” he added. 

Fahoum said he believed the process of peace negotiations with Israel” had not produced results so far, the Camp David recent summit which lasted two weeks failed to make Arafat surrender”.  

The former Palestinian official noted that the peace process on the Palestinian track went into deep slumber “because of the Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak’s reluctance, and the extremism demonstrated by the Israeli right, it is possible to concede that the process was shut down and could not be resumed”, he went on to say “ we’re not ready for that unless Palestinian demands for return, self determination and establishment of an independent Palestinian state are met”. 

Fahoum urged the Islamic movements, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, to play a more active role in this crucial phase within the Palestinian Liberation Organisation PLO the legitimate and sole representative of the Palestinian people. 



Head of Hamas political bureau Khaled Mishal called on all Moslems to rise up to the defence of Moslem sovereignty over the holy place in Jerusalem. 

Mishal told reporters in Tehran that the situation in the Palestinian lands is very delcate and requires all Moslems to unite in defence of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa, “ what is happening now in Palestine is extremely grave”, he said in reference to the confrontations that swept across Jerusalem and and the Gaza strip. Mishal praised Iran’s policies saying the “Islamic republic is playing a vital role in the region and in defense of Islam in the world at large”. 



Islamic Jihad threatened in a statement from Damascus to resume the uprising and avenge those killed by Israeli gunfire in Jerusalem Friday, “what happened yesterday will not pass without punishment to the zionist side,” said Islamic Jihad spokesman Ziad Nakhal in an interview with Albawaba. He said “what happened yesterday, in our view, came as a clear message from the Palestinian people to the Palestine National Authority PNA and other forces involved in the settlement project, the message is that the Palestinian people cannot relinquish its legitimate rights in Jerusalem or in Palestine, and so this nation is ready enough to sacrifice what it owns in order to regain its rights.” 

Nakkal said he believed the PNA was frustrated “although it could take advantage of what happened to strengthen its negotiating position as usual as a result of the Palestinian steadfastness, and so it could harden its position and stick to its rejection of any concession with regards to Jerusalem.” 

Nakhal told Albawaba.com that the developments in Jerusalem would lead to a wide Palestinian Intifada.  

“I believe that what is happening is the beginning of a large Intifada that will be led by the Palestinian people, because this people tried out the path of negotiations and kept quiet about them, but they led them from one concession to another to no avail.” 

The Islamic Jihad earlier issued a statement calling on the Palestinian people to lead an uprising and “to scorch the land under the Zionists feet,” and urged the Palestinian leadership “to decorate a Palestinian soldier who killed an Israeli soldier” Thursday near the West Bank town of Qalqiliya. 

“We are calling on the Authority to halt the negotiations with the enemy and to stand by the people’s choice and resistance in defense of the land, the rights and the holy places.”  



© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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