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Friday, January 2, 1998
MARWAN BARGHOUTI: ARMED FATAH ACTIVISTS

Aaron Lerner Date: 2 January, 1998

IMRA interviewed Marwan Barghouti, the head of Fatah West Bank, in
English, on January 2.MARWAN BARGHOUTI: ARMED FATAH ACTIVISTS

Aaron Lerner Date: 2 January, 1998

IMRA interviewed Marwan Barghouti, the head of Fatah West Bank, in
English, on January 2. The entire interview follows. Barghouti is
a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council.

IMRA: There is a report on Israel Radio today that you are saying
something about the masked armed Fatah activists who appeared at
celebrations. What do you think the appearance of these men with
guns represents.

Barghouti: I said that the people are becoming angrier under the
circumstances. They don't like talk and to make festivals every
year. They demonstrated by guns. That means that this is the
message: that they are ready to fight also.

IMRA: These people with guns - these are people who are members
of Fatah but also members of the security services?

Barghouti: Some of them are members of the security services.

IMRA: There are also armed people who are Fatah but not members of
the security services?

Barghouti: Some of them are members.

IMRA: And some of them aren't?

Barghouti: Not all of them.

IMRA: So some of the people who have rifles also aren't members of
the security services.

Barghouti: Yes.

IMRA: There is a separate Fatah sub-organization which isn't a
part of the security services which has guns?

Barghouti: Yes. Of course there are many of the people who have
guns but they are not in the security services.

IMRA: Are they under any leadership or do they just have guns?

Barghouti: They have a gun and of course they belong to the
organizations in the region.

IMRA: Recently Nabil Sha'ath said that the PLO would reject any
kind of security map which has been proposed. Also the two
kilometer wide zone.

Barghouti: Yes.

IMRA: So you think that that is an accurate representation of the
situation?

Barghouti: Yes, of course. You know that there is real
frustration and disappointment for the people. Two years without
results have passed until now. Only there is the enlarging of
settlements and new settlements and the confiscation of land. Also
in the course of the last two weeks Israeli helicopters have been
flying in the West Bank. They are drawing the maps of interest of
Israel - how to divide the West Bank, etc. I think that it is
difficult for the people to see that.

IMRA: If we take at face value what people like Ehud Barak have
said - even what Shimon Peres has said, they also were not willing
to pull back completely to the 1967 borders. Under those
circumstances is it inevitable that there will be disappointment -
even with a Barak or Peres? That at some future stage there would
have been this disappointment because you would not end up getting
this.

Barghouti: Yes, but it's different of course between the last
government and this government. For example, if we are talking
about the redeployment in the interim agreement, the Labor Party
was willing to withdraw from more than 75% of the West Bank land in
the interim agreement. We were talking about that and I heard it
from many of them.

IMRA: So that would have put off this disappointment - a temporary
relief - or would that have been a permanent relief? If there
would have been only a 75% withdrawal.

Barghouti: We are talking about the interim agreement.

IMRA: But if it were also the final agreement. If it turned out
that Peres and Barak had remained loyal to at least their election
promises not to withdraw to the 1967 borders, would there also be
disappointment then?

Barghouti: Yes. of course. You know that the Palestinian people
are not ready to understand any change in the 1967 borders.
Because the Palestinians consider themselves that they made an
historical compromise when they accepted the Israeli state and they
recognized it in the 1967 borders. So it's not logical for them to
accept the division of the West Bank or to give up any part of the
West Bank.

IMRA: Back to these armed Fatah members: Within the Fatah
organization you have a good handle as to who these people are who
are not members of the security services yet have weapons? You
know who they are?

Barghouti: Yes. As I told you, some of them are members of the
security services and they participated in the festivals formally
and that's no problem. Some of those who have guns are only
Fatah.

IMRA: Would you say that if Fatah gives them orders, one way or
the other, that they would follow them - or would these people do
whatever they please?

Barghouti: No. I don't think that they can do what they want to
do. Finally they are members of Fatah and they have their
instructions from Fatah leadership. And, as you know, four years
ago, since the Oslo Agreement, Fatah did not violate the agreement
and they didn't use the violence. But this demonstration was to
demonstrate that they are ready to fight and they are becoming more
angry.

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director
IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-9-7411645
INTERNET ADDRESS: imra@netvision.net.il
pager 03-6750750 subscriber 4811

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