Palestinian President Arafat’s Address to the Nation For the “Eid Alfiter” Occasion

Published December 17th, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

Hereby is the full text of the speech delivered by Yassir Arafat on December 16, as published by WAFA: 

“By the name of Almighty God” 

Brothers and sisters, my fellow citizens and striving brave Palestinians; 

Mothers, fathers and brothers of the Martyrs; 

You who have sacrificed the dearest of our children for the sake of victory and freedom, and the sake of the Holy City of Jerusalem; 

The prisoners, and the wounded who have sacrificed dearly, through your firm stand, pain and wounds, you have created a unique idol of struggle and anxious strive which has brought us very close to Jerusalem…Jerusalem…Jerusalem…our independent state’s Capital. 

My beloved citizens, from the refugee camps, the villages, the towns, and the cities of Palestine, and in the exile, you have created the survival miracle and kept our national cause and kept our legitimate and just goals through protecting our rights, and created the means to achieve them. 

I greet you from my heart and wish a happy “Eid Alfitier” 

In these blessed days I would like to share with you, openly and frankly, from heart to heart and mind to mind, the current bold facts, in order to think over every matter that concerns us, to rectify our decisions and position, I am certain and confident that my people have the required intelligence, vision and the power of persistence to reach the right conclusions and the right decisions that will enable us to overcome the coming challenges and difficulties, protect our Christian and Islamic Holy places, and prepare for our victory on our Holy Land, where our Profit Muhammad ascended to the skies and our Lord Jesus Christ was born. 

Our unity is the solid ground, on which we stand, that has protected our parade for freedom, through the past many decades, it has also provided us with the just, comprehensive and long lasting longed peace, with the required protection, and with the elements of our persistent progress towards the national consensus, without compromising our sacred priorities, nor in decision neither in practice. 

Thus I hereby and in the name of the Leadership, do emphasize our clear and deep conception of our unity, as a unity of all the factions and streams of our nation, and the unity in accepting the decisions of the Palestinian consensus materialized by the National, Legislative and Central Councils. 

The PLO started as the essential choice of our people in Palestine and in the exile, the choice that has united us, led us and materialized our legitimacy, this choice reflects our demands and needs, and alongside with the PLO, we also have our elected National Authority that expresses the Palestinian people’s goals and ambitions, it has been shaped according to the Palestinians’ vision and need, it forms the solid foundation for the Palestinian State, including Jerusalem as its Capital, and through our elected municipal, legislative and parliament institutions and councils and through the International recognition of our National Authority, I would like to use this occasion to reaffirm that we are ready to conduct another democratic elections for our Leadership and our institutions, as soon as the situation is safe and the conditions are suitable. 

Sharon and his Government are waging this vicious criminal war against our well recognized and highly internationally evaluated Leadership and elected institutions, by targeting our establishments, members of our government and parliament, police officers, security systems, infrastructures that we have exerted all we have with the help of our brothers and friends to rebuild, a war that also targets our citizens, property, schools, hospitals, fields, Mosques and Churches, including the farms they have destroyed, not sparing the Holy Olive tree that stands bare witness to the nobility of our people and our deep roots in this Holy Land.  

Yes it is a war waged against the whole Palestinians and their Leadership, against our resources, and our personal, social, and economical security, against our legitimate dream of establishing our future without further humiliation, occupation and oppression, in our independent State. 

I hereby, and from within our tragedy and the essence of our fierce strive for freedom, I do declare that this vicious war waged against us by the Israelis, will not kneel us down or break our strong will, and will not get our national pride, we do reject humiliating us, we reject humiliating us, we reject humiliating us. 

My dear brothers and sisters, under these circumstances I would also like to emphasize that we will not allow any to shake our national great project, or put any obstacle in its path or distract its image or distort its Palestinian pure content. We do not allow but only one Authority that its decisions must be obeyed, and its agreements must be respected, and if this Authority takes a stand in the foreign issues, these stands must be met with the people’s support and protect its reliability. 

Dear Brothers, we have declared a state of emergency and conducted series of actions and measure, that we intend to proceed with, as announcing the illegal formations and their activities of terror, as outlaw and rebellious, we also initiated a ceasefire, so we have to respect all what we have decided upon and abide with it, the Israelis do not respect the ceasefire and do not desire to do so but we on our behalf must abide with, we are fully aware of the conspiracy raged by the Sharon Government, by its escalating aggression and besieging our towns and villages and occupying portions of our land using the alleged allegation of protecting their citizens from acts, which we have condemned and rejected. 

This complicated struggle must not allow shaking the credibility of our Leadership and its decisions nor must we allow or grant Sharon and his military institution or provide them with the platform from which they wage their attacks and assaults against us, nor furnish them with excuses to escalate their aggression or to name our legitimate struggle as terror.  

I reiterate the declared ceasefire, and to totally stop all actions including the suicidal attacks, that we have condemned and will peruse their sponsors and organizers, also the mortar launchers that aim to provide the Israelis with excuses to massacre our children and women. 

Any breaking of these decisions will be considered as a high treason because it jeopardizes our national interest, and the outlaws will be vigorously perused and judged. 

The main goal of the above is to emphasize the credibility of our attitude and choice to enable the full and immediate implementation of the Tenet Understandings and the Mitchell Report Recommendations, and to return to the negotiating table which is the one and only way to end this cycle of bloodshed and to achieve our national goals. 

I am certain of the solid national solidarity for freedom, independence and establishment of our State with Jerusalem as its Capital with compliance with the International legitimacy and the UN resolutions, 242, 338, 425, and 194 including the Land for Peace Principle. 

Dear sisters, dear brothers; 

I hereby thank all brothers and friends that helped us by supporting us morally, financially and politically, on the official or personal levels, like other Palestinians I feel confident when the Arab, Islamic or International councils, committees or organizations assemble according to our call or just assemble for our cause, it is a renovated message to the whole world that we are not alone, and the International community is committed to our resistance and national goals of protecting the Moslem and Christian Holy places in the Holy Land the Terra Santa. 

Dear brothers and sisters; 

We must be aware of the International developments, especially after the September 11th 2001 events of the heinous attacks on the WTC in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, and their impact on our cause and rights, we will vigorously maintain contacts with all effective forces in the world, and comprehend the rapid changes and deal with them in the most proper manner in order to sustain our cause and rights present on the International arena, in a time when abetting increases against us from those who do not want us on our land, and who always name us as terro, only because we want to remove the occupation from our homeland which is internationally recognized as a legitimate homeland for the Palestinians, but through our continuous struggle we have achieved unprecedented achievements on the international and local levels. 

The perception that was declared by the US Secretary of State Mr. Colin Powell that was stated by President George W. Bush in the UN assembly, when he committed himself to establishing the Palestinian state, also the E.U. and Russian, the UN, and the international clear and decisive position, is a very effective factor in reinforcing the justice of our struggle that will eventually lead to achieving our national legitimate rights, and sustaining strong relations with the International communities is a solid evidence to our healthy and righteous strive. 

Now my fellow citizens, in your behalf I would like to address the Israeli people in a very clear and honest message, telling them that we have had negotiated with each other for decades, where some of them do remember, that we joined hands with the peace activists, and struggled together in very difficult conditions and facing legal banning from the Israeli various Governments, in order to make the negotiations a solid base for mutual understanding, turning the negotiations a sole mean to achieve acceptable results for both sides, and due to our joint persistence we went to Madrid and Oslo and else peace stations for our children’s sake and theirs. 

Now I hereby reiterate our policy of resuming the mutual discussion, and call on the Israeli government to cease believing that by tanks and fighter jets they can achieve what could be achieved by negotiations, we are not seeking the impossible and do not form any threat to the Israeli existence, all we ask for is to free our lands occupied in 1967 including Jerusalem, and the International legitimacy is on our side, we want the Israeli occupying forces to withdraw from our lands and to evacuate the settlements, the International legitimacy is also on our side in this matter. 

We want fair implementation of all agreed upon issues, we want to resume negotiation on all pending issues without canceling the previous achievements from the Whye River, Camp David, Sharm Alsheikh, Paris, Taba, Cairo and elsewhere. 

And we frankly demand a real independent State with Jerusalem as its Capital, alongside with Israel, but what we do not want are the tanks filling our streets in our villages and towns, and the fighter airplanes shelling our populated places from the skies, these acts that are not legal and contradict all International legitimacy, will not get to our persistence and determination. 

I hereby reiterate my invitation to the Israeli Government and people to return immediately to the negotiating table, and to the urgent act to remove all inhuman and dangerous practices against our nation, that will lead only to more violence and to more complicated bloodshed cycle, away from security, peace and stability in the whole region. 


To all my beloved fellow brave citizens in Palestine and in the exile, I greet you all and call on you to plant an Olive tree on each martyr’s grave, for all what have been destroyed shall be rebuilt with our determination and persistence, and all our beautiful hopes will materialize by the Name of the Almighty God. 

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