By Nabil Al Mulhem
Albawaba.com – Damascus
Damascus-based Palestinian opposition factions have reacted angrily at Israeli continuous attacks on Palestinian cities in the West bank and Gaza Strip, and urged Palestinians and Arabs to “retaliate the aggressions.”
In an interview with Albawaba.com, former speaker of the Palestinian National Council, Khaled Fahoum, said that “what is going on in the Palestinian territories and the [Israeli] sea, air and land shelling reveals the barbarism of the Israeli occupation,” but the Palestinians are “determined to continue with the Intifada until they achieve self determination and an independent Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as its capital.”
Fahoum voiced his confidence that “the Palestinian movements in Palestine, with Fateh in the lead, and the Palestinian police, will stand shoulder to shoulder in the face of the Israeli aggression.”
“The Palestinian factions are united in their efforts now in one body to steer the Intifada in terms of organization and running daily life,” he said, adding that the Arab and Islamic support for the uprising is still limited.
“Israel is imposing a siege on the Palestinian cities and blocks food and medicine from reaching the people,” said Fahoum, a prominent opposition figure, who called for more Arab Islamic and international support for Palestinians.
Fahoum praised Egypt’s recall Tuesday of its ambassador from Tel Aviv in protest of the Israeli raids on Palestinian towns and villages.
However, Fahoum expects more from Egypt.
“I hope that Egypt’s move will be followed by more decisive steps and that Egypt will always stand by the Palestinian people who highly appreciate President Hosni Mubarak and Foreign Minister Amr Moussa,” the former PNC speaker said.
For his part, Mustafa Liddawi, Hamas Politburo member, said that at the time “all the Arabs and Muslims in the world watch Israeli rockets hit the heart of the Palestinian lands, they wholeheartedly look forward to seeing painful retaliatory operations.
“All parties, including Hamas, should adopt a new equation” in the conflict.
Elaborating, Liddawi called the recommended approach the “Katyosha equation” referring to the rocket attacks on Israel by the Islamic resistance in Lebanon, spearheaded by Hizbollah, that was finally able to end the 22-year Israeli occupation of parts of south Lebanon.
“Let us save the blood of our people and our facilities. The Zionists should be made to think twice before they carry out offensives. Israel should come to realize that the security of its settlers is linked to the security of the Palestinians: the moment Palestinians lose lives and safety, the same should happen to the Zionists,” said the Islamist, whose group has carried out a number of suicide operations that led to the death of dozens of Israelis.
Liddawi added that the Lebanese resistance forced Israeli to sign two agreements of understanding with Hizbollah in July 1993, and April 1996 that led eventually to Israel’s humiliating withdrawal from south Lebanon. I think that the Palestinian people can come up with a better equation of the agreements signed by the Lebanese Resistance and Israel.”
The Politburo member said that what is going on in the Palestinian territories is not a shift in the Israeli mentality regarding the Palestinian people and the Arab world.
“The military mentality is still the same; what changed is the form and mechanism of expressing the Israeli belligerency… the Israelis are always ready to retract any agreement they have signed if it conflicts with their security and interests, and when it attacks, it does not differentiate between those who support the peace process or stand against it. After all, shelling has targeted many sites of Fateh movement, the backbone of the Palestinian Authority.”
According to Fahed Younes, member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine Politburo the Israeli escalation of violence is meant on the part of Israel to dictate their political conditions on the Palestinians. “These conditions were termed as the Israeli red lines when the two parties went to Camp David,”’ but these red lines are completely rejected by us, and the Palestinians will not offer any compromises regarding its independent state with Jerusalem as its capital.
The PFLP politburo member called for:
- The continuation of the uprising as long as possible in order to improve the Palestinian people conditions for the upcoming stage.
- Serious work for incorporating the Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.
- Building the Palestinian national unity on national coalition basis away from denomination.
- Solidification of unity on the ground to confront the ruthless Israeli aggression.
- Demanding the implementation of the international resolutions fully, particularly 242/338 and resolution no 194 related to the Palestinian refugees’ right of return.
- Making efforts to break the American monopoly and what is called the American sponsorship of the peace process in the region.
Regarding the Arabs’ attitude on what is going on in the Palestinian lands, Yunes expressed the dissatisfaction of the popular front with it. “The Arab people, powers and parties should restore their brightness,” he added.
“The Arab summit conference resolutions have set a ceiling to the Arab public movements, which we were afraid of”, he stressed.
Fahed Suleiman, the Democratic front for the Liberation of Palestine Politburo member indicated that “the unprecedented Israeli military escalation signals a serious turn in Ehud Barak’s policy and aims at crushing the resistance and uprising by the optimal military means.” He added “this will defy any efforts made or planned for resuming the negotiations or escalating the resistance and uprising by the Palestinian people”.
“The escalation of the military actions by Barak government is an attempt by Barak to break the internal isolation he is suffering from in the Knesset and the minority he is leading. The pressures exerted also on Barak’s government are among the reasons which have made him adopt this oppression policy to guarantee the continuation of the safety net which keeps his government in power,” Suleiman added.
Regarding the Arabs attitude, the Democratic Front Politburo member said “the Front has recognized the reflections of the internal Palestinian circumstances on the Arab World through the Egyptian government decision to call its ambassador from Israel”. He added “this is the second time such an action as was taken, the first time was during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982. This is a step in the right direction that will pave the road for other Arab actions, the fact that proves the effectiveness of the Palestinian uprising.
The Democratic Front Politburo member said: “the Palestinian uprising continues and still exists due to objective reasons”. He called for developing it “to adopt a clear political program that leaves Oslo as history”.
“What is required in the first place is to have a qualitative change in the existing negotiation style dictated by the American absolute sponsorship,” Suleiman stressed. He called for bypassing this form and adopting a new form based on the international legitimate resolutions particularly 242/338 and resolution no. 194 regarding the return of the refugees and the withdrawal of the Israeli Army”. He also called for “a temporary international protection force for the Palestinians and for enhancing the political unity between the Palestinian groups to reach the level of the unity achieved on the ground by the confrontation and uprising.”
“It is necessary to provide the conditions which would help the Palestinian people’s resistance to continue in the West Bank and Gaza,” Suleiman stressed. He indicated that this “requires a set of actions that would take into consideration the conditions of the Palestinian community and Authority for the purpose of strengthening resistance elements through popular action and other committees. This is to build the Palestinian defensive positions through organizing armed self defensive groups to confront aggression from the settlers and the Israeli army”, Suleiman stressed.
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)