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Wednesday, March 12, 2003
Update:Text of item against Abu Mazen erased from IDF website on 12 March

Update: Text of item against Abu Mazen erased from IDF website on 12 March

[Update: After IMRA noted that the "censors" failed to erase the original
Arabic text from the IDF website,
http://www.idf.il/newsite/images/0303-1p.gif , this was also erased ]

[IMRA: From 3 March 2003 through the morning of 12 March the IDF
Spokeperson's Office was the only official Israeli body documenting Abu
Mazen's call to "use all means" against settlers. This morning the website
page,
http://www.idf.il/newsite/english/0303-1.stm , was erased.

It is believed that the censorship was at the initiative of the political
level (e.g. Prime Minister's Office) rather than the IDF itself.

As of 1:15 PM on 12 March, the "censors" neglected to erase the file that
has the original Arabic text -
http://www.idf.il/newsite/images/0303-1p.gif

It should be noted that while the Government of Israel apparently would like
to "erase" Abu Mazen's support for murdering killing soldiers and settlers
(a number were murdered after the interview), Abu Mazen and the PLO have
done anything but "erase" it from their own program. Since then the PLO has
reiterated this position. Abu Mazen heads the PLO Executive Committee].

======

Abu Mazen Justifies the "Armed Struggle" Against Jewish Residents of the
West Bank and Gaza Strip

IDF Spokesperson 3 March 2003

In an interview in the Alsharak Alawast newspaper published on March 3,
2003, Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), Head of the Palestinian Authority's
Executive Committee (and Arafat's second in command), justified the armed
struggle against Jewish communities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

According to Abu Mazen, the "Intifada" must continue and the Palestinian
initiated cease-fire should "not take into account the Palestinian's right
to oppose the 'settlements'."

Translation of Excerpts from Abu Mazen's Interview

"On the basis of the talks held in Cairo [between the different Palestinian
factions] we agreed upon the freezing of Palestinian military operations
[terrorist attacks] for one year. This, on the condition that the chief
Egyptian mediators receive [Israeli] guarantees about an Israeli military
cease-fire, a cessation of arrests [of Palestinian terrorists] and on the
withdrawal [of the IDF] to their positions before September 28, 2000
[beginning of the current crisis]. We also want a renewal of negotiations.
Regrettably, the Hamas movement did not accept [these conditions] and
declared that they did not intend to put an end to its military activities
[terrorist attacks]."

"We did not say, however, that we are giving up the armed struggle [.] it is
our right to oppose. The Intifada must continue. The Palestinian people have
a right to oppose using all means at their disposal to protect their
existence. I would add, that if the Israelis came and settled themselves on
your land, it would be in your right to defend yourself using any means
necessary."

Note: Abu Mazen's comments clearly express the Palestinian Authority's
position on the subject of a cease-fire with Israel. Abu Mazen, as well as
the Palestinian Interior Minister, Hani Elhassan, justify the continuation
of the armed struggle against Israeli civilians in the West Bank and Gaza
Strip. His comments also imply that Israeli residents of these regions are a
"legitimate target" for the "opposition".

Original interview in the Alsharak Alawast newspaper:
http://www.idf.il/newsite/images/0303-1p.gif

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