Palestinian Authority Communications Minister
says Al Aksa Intifada was planned since July
PA Communications Minister, ‘Imad Al-Faluji,
visited Lebanon and spoke at the ‘Ein Al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp.
In his speech Al-Faluji stated that the Al-Aqsa Intifada was premeditated,
and was the Palestinian response to their failure to achieve their goals
at the Camp David negotiations. After Israel announced its intention to
use Al-Faluji’s words to support its response to the Mitchell Commission
it was reported that Yasser Arafat pressured Al-Faluji to retract his statements.
Subsequently, Al-Faluji announced that he had never made such comments.1
However, similar statements by Al-Faluji as well as other Palestinian leaders
have been reported previously.
Al-Faluji at ‘Ein Al-Hilweh
"The Palestinian people is
the strong half of the international equation. It is the secret code and
the key to any stability and peace not only in the Middle East, but in
"You can be sure that your stay here
is temporary. We will not allow any force to raise any issue detrimental
to the Right of Return to Palestine. I congratulate President Emil Lahud
who has said countless times that there will be no solution for the Palestinians
that does not include their return to Palestine. To him we respond: ‘Yes.’
This position has the consensus of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian
leadership... We emphasize that the Palestinian leadership will not sign
a peace agreement without guaranteeing Palestinian rights, and first and
foremost the Right of Return, the liberation of Jerusalem and its return
to full Palestinian sovereignty. These are our fundamental Palestinian
principles, to which we hold fast and for which we fight."
"The Al-Aqsa Intifada emphasizes these
principles and axioms. Whoever thinks that the Intifada broke out because
of the despised Sharon’s visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, is wrong, even if
this visit was the straw that broke the back of the Palestinian people.
This Intifada was planned in advance, ever since President Arafat’s return
from the Camp David negotiations, where he turned the table upside down
on President Clinton. [Arafat] remained steadfast and challenged [Clinton].
He rejected the American terms and he did it in the heart of the US."
"My visit here in South Lebanon is a
clear message to the Zionist enemy. We say: Just as the national and Islamic
Resistance in South Lebanon taught [Israel] a lesson and made it withdraw
humiliated and battered, so shall [Israel] learn a lesson from the Palestinian
Resistance in Palestine. The Palestinian Resistance will strike in Tel-Aviv,
in Ashkelon, in Jerusalem, and in every inch of the land of natural Palestine.
Israel will not have a single quiet night. There will be no security in
the heart of Israel...."
"The Palestinian people are patient,
but when they take action - no one can stop them. When the Palestinian
people are seized with rage, the world [becomes] familiar with it."
"We say to the Zionist enemy
and to the entire world: ‘We will return to the early days of the PLO,
to the sixties and seventies; ‘the Fatah Hawks’ will return, as will the
‘’Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades’ [the military wing of the Hamas] and the
‘Red Eagles’ [the military arm of the ‘Popular Front for the Liberation
of Palestine’].’ A new stage will continue until the rights are returned
to their owners... we will strike whoever blames us for the failure of
the negotiations, because President Yasser Arafat’s patience was greater
than Job’s. Arafat has become the Job of the twentieth century, because
of what the US and Israel lay on him..."2
Past Statements by Al-Faluji
Al-Faluji had made similar statements as
early as December 2000. Raed Lafi, correspondent for the PA affiliated
daily Al-Ayyam reported then that at a Gaza symposium Al-Faluji said: "The
PA had begun to prepare for the outbreak of the current Intifada since
the return from the Camp David negotiations, by request of President Yasser
Arafat, who predicted the outbreak of the Intifada as a complementary stage
to the Palestinian steadfastness in the negotiations, and not as a specific
protest against Sharon’s visit to Al-Haram Al-Qudsi [Temple Mount]."
Al-Faluji continued: "The Intifada was
no surprise for the Palestinian leadership. The leadership had invested
all of its efforts in political and diplomatic channels in order to fix
the flaws in the negotiations and the peace process, but to no avail. It
encountered Israeli stubbornness and continuous renunciation of the [Palestinian]
rights... The PA instructed the political forces and factions to run all
matters of the Intifada..."3
Al-Faluji’s statement at the time were
backed by Fatah Central Committee member, Sakhr Habash, who said in an
interview with the PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida: "In light of the information,
[after] analyzing the political positions following the Camp David summit,
and in accordance with what brother Abu Ammar [Arafat] said, it became
clear to the Fatah movement that the next stage necessitates preparation
for confrontation, because Prime Minister Barak is not a partner who can
respond to our people’s aspirations. Based on these assessments, Fatah
was more prepared than the other movements for this confrontation. In order
to play the role given to it, the Fatah coordinated its administrative,
civilian and sovereign apparatuses, and was not surprised by the outbreak
of the current Intifada... The Fatah movement believed that the phenomenon
of comprehensive struggle would appear at the final settlement stage..."4
1. Voice of Israel Radio
(Israel), March 6, 2001.
2. Al-Safir (Lebanon),
March 3, 2001.
3. Al-Ayyam (PA), December
4. Al-Hayat Al-Jadida
(PA), December 7, 2000.
The Middle East Media and Research Institute
(MEMRI) is an independent, non-profit organization providing translations
of the media of the Middle East and original analysis on developments in
the region. Copies of articles and documents cited, as well as background
information, are available upon request.
Middle East Media and Research Institute
P.O. Box 7837, Washington, DC 20038-7837
Phone: (202) 955-9070
Fax: (202) 955-9077
[MEMRI holds copyrights on all translations.
Materials may only be cited with proper attribution.]
This page was produced by Joseph
Middle Eastern Political and Religious
Brooklyn, New York
to a friend