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Sunday, February 24, 2013
Its Own Damning Testimony: The Palestinian Authoritys Responsibility for the Outbreak of the Second Intifada

The Palestinian Authority’s Responsibility for the Outbreak of the Second
Intifada: Its Own Damning Testimony
Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi, February 20, 2013
Jerusalem Viewpoints
No. 594 March-April 2013
http://jcpa.org/article/the-palestinian-authoritys-responsibility-for-the-outbreak-of-the-second-intifada-its-own-damning-testimony/

On February 11, 2013, on Israel’s Channel 10 television program “The
Source,” it was claimed that there was not even an “iota of evidence” that
the Palestinian Authority leadership, and Yasser Arafat in particular,
planned and initiated the Second Intifada, which began in September 2000 and
resulted in the deaths of more than 1,000 Israelis by 2005.

Rather, it was claimed that this was a spontaneous popular uprising that ran
counter to the interests of the Palestinian leadership. As a consequence,
Arafat appears to be exonerated by the narrative presented. The program also
reopened the old debate over whether the Second Intifada was ignited by
Ariel Sharon’s September 2000 visit to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Yet, extensive testimony at the time and in retrospect demonstrates the
Palestinian Authority’s role in initiating and managing the Second Intifada
as an extensive terror onslaught, designed to impose a unilateral,
unconditional withdrawal upon Israel, and improve conditions in anticipation
of the battle for realizing Palestinian demands for the return of the
refugees.

The final decision to initiate the Second Intifada was made by Yasser Arafat
immediately upon the conclusion of the second Camp David summit, which ended
on July 25, 2000. Directives were disseminated to the national security
forces, instructing them to prepare for the immediate option of initiating a
violent campaign against Israel.

This study presents the handwriting that was on the wall, with statements
referring to a return to conflict by Yasser Arafat, Marwan Barghouti, Sakhr
Habash, Imad Falluji, Suha Arafat, Ahmed Ibrahim Hiles, Raed Muhammed, Jihad
Al-Amarin, Yasser Khalil, and Nabil Shaath, as well as in official
Palestinian Authority publications. The study concludes with the text of the
first proclamation by the National and Islamic Forces, the umbrella group
that coordinated the operations of Fatah and Hamas against Israel.

Yasser Arafat and important segments of the Palestinian leadership at that
time were directly responsible for what happened during the Second Intifada
and no amount of revisionist history can exonerate Arafat for standing
behind one of the bloodiest periods in Israel’s modern history.

On February 11, 2013, on Israel’s Channel 10 television program “The
Source,” it was claimed that there was not even an “iota of evidence” that
the Palestinian Authority leadership, and Yasser Arafat in particular,
planned and initiated the Second Intifada, which began in September 2000 and
resulted in the deaths of more than 1,000 Israelis by 2005.

Rather, it was claimed that this was a spontaneous popular uprising that ran
counter to the interests of the Palestinian leadership. As a consequence,
Arafat appears to be exonerated by the narrative presented. The program also
reopened the old debate over whether the Second Intifada was ignited by
Ariel Sharon’s September 2000 visit to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Yet, extensive testimony at the time and in retrospect demonstrates the
Palestinian Authority’s role in initiating and managing the Second Intifada
as an extensive terror onslaught, designed to impose a unilateral,
unconditional withdrawal upon Israel, and improve conditions in anticipation
of the battle for realizing Palestinian demands for the return of the
refugees.

Arafat: A Puppet Leader or an Authoritative Leader?

If the intifada “erupted” by itself,” then Arafat’s undisputed leadership of
the Palestinian people and Fatah was purely a myth. In fact, this would mean
that Arafat was a puppet leader who did not have the power, leadership, and
authority to sign a political agreement with Israel in the name of the
Palestinian people that would put an end to the conflict with the Jewish
people over Palestine.

Furthermore, this would imply that the Israeli intelligence agencies failed
strategically. They all failed to warn the Israeli political echelon prior
to the 2000 Camp David conference about the frailty of Arafat’s leadership
and his irrelevance as a partner to any peace agreement predicated on an
historic compromise. Yet the evidence demonstrates the direct connection
between Arafat and the intifada’s launch and management.

Fatah as the Prime Contractor of the Palestinian Authority

In the years preceding the intifada, the Fatah movement headed by Arafat
functioned as the main pillar of the strategy to engage in a popular
struggle against Israel. Key events in this struggle include the Temple
Tunnel incidents in 1996, demonstrations against Jerusalem’s Har Homa
neighborhood in 1997, and the Days of Rage and the “Prisoner Intifada” in
May 2000. Each of these events helped to provide background for the Second
Intifada in September 2000.

Arafat and Barghouti Threaten a Return to the Armed Struggle and Intifada

The initial signs indicating that a concrete decision had been reached to
launch a major terror assault against Israel were discernible in the tough
language employed by Yasser Arafat in meetings with the Shabiba – the Fatah
youth organization – in Ramallah and Nablus during that year. A number of
these meetings took place in April 2000, a few months prior to the second
Camp David summit. As documented by the Gaza newspaper Al-Mujahid (April 3,
2000), Arafat called the young Fatah members “the new generals,” and
threatened to “launch a new intifada” in order to impose the “establishment
of an independent Palestinian state” upon Israel.

Marwan Barghouti, subsequently one of the intifada’s most prominent leaders,
presented a revealing statement (Akhbar Al-Khalil, March 8, 2000) on the
strategy of the Fatah movement at the beginning of 2000:

“Whoever believes that one can reach a decision on the issues of a permanent
agreement [with Israel] – for example, on refugees, Jerusalem, settlements,
and borders – via negotiation is living under an illusion. On these matters
we have to wage a battle on the ground in parallel to the negotiating
framework….I mean a conflict. We need scores of battles on the model of the
[1996] Al Aqsa Tunnel battle….One does not combat settlements with pleas but
by force of arms….It is our people’s right to contend with Israelis in the
West Bank, Gaza, and Jerusalem using all means and methods.”

Two weeks prior to the second Camp David summit, at a meeting of the Fatah
movement in Nablus on June 25, 2000, Arafat explicitly raised the option of
officially reverting to the strategy of “armed conflict,” and implementing
this strategy (and ideology) on an official basis and to its full extent (in
other words, via the use of terror), which Fatah and the PLO had previously
championed prior to entering the negotiating track:

“We will sacrifice…our lives for Palestine….We are fighting for our
land….Whoever forgot this should remember the battle of Karameh [an IDF
operation against a terrorist base in Jordan in 1968 that is depicted as the
first Palestinian victory over the Israeli Army], the Beirut Campaign [the
battle for Beirut during the First Lebanon war], and the seven years of
intifada [the First Intifada]. We are willing to erase everything and start
everything afresh.””

The Final Decision Following the Camp David Summit

The final decision to initiate the Second Intifada was made by Yasser Arafat
immediately upon the conclusion of the second Camp David summit, which ended
on July 25, 2000. Once the die was cast, all that remained was to determine
the timing and the immediate pretext for launching the intifada.

The immediate and overt signals were provided by Fatah, which organized
“spontaneous” demonstrations of support for Yasser Arafat for refusing to
yield to pressure to forego fundamental Palestinian positions, while
expressing a readiness to continue the struggle for realizing “the national
rights of the Palestinian people.”

In a detailed essay on the second Camp David summit published in Al-Hayat
Al-Jadida only nine days prior to the beginning of the Second Intifada
(September 20, 2000), Sakhr Habash, who was considered Fatah’s official
ideologue, noted that in response to the Israeli and American proposals,
“brother Abu Amar [Arafat] spoke in the idiom of the believer who views the
issues confronting him and the exalted Palestinian people, regarding the
conflict option.”

Habash belongs to Fatah’s founding generation. He was a member of the Fatah
Central Committee (Fatah’s supreme institution), was considered a very close
confidante of Arafat, and took part in the consultations and contacts that
Arafat conducted with representatives of the diverse Palestinian
organizations during the course of the intifada. Habash was frequently
appointed to speak on behalf of Arafat at various events.

The Palestinian Security Forces Prepare for Conflict with Israel

The message regarding Palestinian readiness to defend their fundamental
principles was translated immediately following the summit into directives
that were disseminated to the national security forces in Gaza, instructing
them to prepare for the immediate option of initiating a violent campaign
against Israel.

In July 2000, the monthly Al-Shuhada (issued on behalf of the “political
guidance” apparatus and disseminated among Palestinian National Security
forces and Border Guards in Gaza) contained an order of the day from the
Palestinian leadership with instructions to prepare for the approaching
confrontation with Israel.

Below are the main points cited by Ahmed Ibrahim Hiles, commander of
“political guidance” for the Border Guards of the National Security forces,
under the title: “The Battle Has Begun”:

“A summons, a summons, a summons from the delegation to the negotiations
headed by Commander Sergeant Abu Amar to our heroic Palestinian people: Be
prepared, the battle for Jerusalem has begun. This is the meaning behind the
Palestinian delegation’s return from Camp David to the soil of the homeland
without abandoning the avowed fundamental Palestinian positions: No peace
will exist without Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Palestinian state.
There will be no stability or security for the entire region unless Israel
accedes to the legitimate international demands that have set the principle
of land for peace in accordance with UN decisions.”

Major Raed Muhammed, an operative in the “political guidance” apparatus of
the Border Guards of the National Security forces, notes in another article
from the same issue that “the failure [of the Camp David summit] heralds the
end of the political agreement, and that creates an opening for the option
of struggle and confrontation. This is the beginning, the natural beginning,
for the demise of political agreements as a method for realizing the
Palestinian people’s goals on the path to its liberation.”

On August 5, 2000, only seven weeks prior to the beginning of the terror
onslaught, the newspaper Falastin Al-Youm cited a Palestinian source in its
main headline as saying: “In Order to Obtain Progress in Negotiations,
Conflict Is Necessary.” The article states: “A Palestinian source disclosed
to Falastin that the Camp David summit…failed as a result of the Israelis’
insistence on their positions concerning all issues….The Palestinian source
believes that…a certain degree of conflict is necessary for the purpose of
altering the existing equation.”

The pioneer inside the Palestinian security apparatuses was Jihad Al-Amarin,
a senior Fatah operative and an intimate of Arafat who was smuggled into
Gaza in Arafat’s car on the day he first arrived in Gaza following the Oslo
Interim Accords. Al-Amarin, who served as the head of the Palestinian Police
Operations Branch in Gaza, translated Arafat’s intentions into terror
attacks against Israel even prior to the Second Intifada (in March, April,
and June 2000) and after its outbreak he founded the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’
Brigades in Gaza.

The Hour of the Intifada Has Arrived; the Hour of Jihad Has Arrived; the
Hour of Jerusalem Has Arrived

A similar policy line supporting a new intifada against Israel and
galvanizing mass protests was adopted by the Palestinian Authority’s
Ministry of Information. In August 2000, “Events and Topics,” published by
the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Information, featured an article with
the headline: “The Popular Aspect During and After Camp David”:

“We stand at an historical crossroad at a most complex stage, in whose
course the fate of Jerusalem, the refugees, and the state’s borders may well
be decided. These issues demand the unity of all the forces in order to
create a Palestinian state of readiness that will serve the national issues,
and currently we must prepare the masses so they can prove capable of
contending with what the ensuing stage has in store. We’ve all witnessed the
broad mass support and its rallying around the Palestinian negotiating
delegation upon its return from Camp David and we saw the sense of
exaltation and victory of the Palestinian delegation following the reception
it received….However, the escalation in mass activity mandates tougher
activity in the stages that will precede victory and in a manner that allows
the masses to fulfill their role in serving the national cause so they will
not be merely eyewitnesses to the events relevant to determining their
fate.”

On September 11, 2000, about three weeks prior to the beginning of the
Second Intifada, the handwriting on the wall was clear. In an article in the
newspaper Al-Sabah, the official organ of the Palestinian Authority, Yasser
Khalil (apparently the pseudonym of the paper’s editor, Sari Al-Kidwa)
announced the imminent timing and the expected pretext (Jerusalem) for the
launch of “the intifada and jihad campaign” against Israel:

“The defense of Jerusalem requires blood, we can only defend Jerusalem with
blood, the time of victory and the fall of the martyr has arrived….The
battle of Jerusalem is the mother of battles….We will advance and proclaim a
comprehensive intifada for Jerusalem, the hour of the intifada has arrived;
the hour of the intifada has arrived; the hour of jihad has arrived; the
hour of Jerusalem has arrived and Jerusalem beckons.”

Fatah Prepares for the Conflict with Israel

Due to the failure of the Camp David summit, the Fatah movement declared an
emergency situation and began to make preparations for conflict on all
levels, beginning with raising awareness of an impending major conflict and
concluding with military training. Marwan Barghouti, who headed Fatah’s
Supreme Council in the West Bank, was cited in the newspaper Falastinuna on
July 31, 2000, as saying that the failure of negotiations opens the gates
for the Palestinian people to realize “all the options.” He noted that
extensive time existed to attain readiness and to announce a general
mobilization in the ranks of the Palestinian people.

Barghouti’s statement was not made in a vacuum. In practice, the security
apparatuses of the Palestinian Authority and the “political guidance”
apparatus, in collaboration with the Fatah movement, conducted scores of
summer camps during the summer months of 2000 for youngsters in all areas of
the Palestinian Authority, in whose framework thousands of young people were
trained in the use of arms and to attack soldiers and Jewish settlers using
rocks and firebombs.

Falastinuna reported on September 17, 2000, on the eve of the Second
Intifada, that the ranks of the Fatah organization were placed on high
alert, as a preparatory stage toward the declaration of a Palestinian state.

The Palestinian Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Dr.
Nabil Shaath, said during a meeting in Khan Yunis one day prior to the
outbreak of the intifada (Al-Ayyam, September 29, 2000) that the Palestinian
Authority will work to restore the land via a peace process, and if the
matter will fail, the Palestinians’ only remaining recourse is conflict. He
clarified that the Palestinian people hope that the leadership will succeed
in restoring their rights via a peace process. However, he noted the
possibility that an agreement would not be reached in the course of the
current negotiations and that the situation would deteriorate, and called
upon the Palestinian people to “be ready and prepared for all alternative
options.”

Arafat Orchestrates the Intifada Through the National and Islamic Forces

From the very first day of the Second Intifada, a coordinated front of the
major power centers in the Palestinian arena operated under the name of the
National and Islamic Forces. This front was loyal to Arafat and served as
the supreme coordinating framework for managing the intifada, organizing
joint activities against Israel, and resolving disputes between the
organizations.

Additional Palestinian organizations joined Fatah, including Hamas, Islamic
Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Palestinian
Democratic Union (FIDA), the Arab Liberation Front, the Democratic Front for
the Liberation of Palestine, the Palestinian People’s Party, the Palestinian
Popular Struggle Front, the Palestinian Liberation Front, and the
Palestinian Arab Front. This coordinating framework was of vast importance
in setting strategy for the intifada and it was set up in response to
lessons learned from the divisions that had plagued the First Intifada.

Attesting to the direct involvement of the Palestinian Authority in managing
and guiding the Second Intifada is the first manifesto issued on behalf of
the National and Islamic Forces on September 30, 2000 (see Appendix for
complete text). This proclamation bears the seal of the Palestinian Ministry
of Information (an official ministry within the Palestinian Authority
government), alongside a comment by one of the responsible parties in the
Information Ministry with the directive: “disseminate [the proclamation] to
everyone.”

In subsequent announcements of the National and Islamic Forces, directives
were issued to continue activity against Israel, while noting special dates
and occasions for escalating violent mass action.

For example, a proclamation of the National and Islamic Forces of October 3,
2000, called for continuing the “blessed popular intifada” and lauded the
masses and forces of our people in the Galilee, in the Triangle, on the
Coastal Plain and in the Negev for their brave stance [referring to the
riots of October 2000 involving Israel’s Arab citizens]. “The National and
Islamic Forces have set the days of October 4 and 5, 2000, as days of
national mourning in memory of those who fell on the national soil in
defense of Al Quds [Jerusalem] and Palestine,” and called on the Palestinian
people “to continue escalating the organized popular actions of confronting
the soldiers of the Israeli occupation and the Zionist settlers in Al Quds,
the West Bank and Gaza.”

A proclamation of the National and Islamic Forces on October 27, 2000, set
“October 29 as a day of general escalation, in which parades and
demonstrations of rage would set out in all parts of the homeland with a
demand to remove the occupation.” In this proclamation the National and
Islamic Forces lauded the Palestinian people in honor of “the blessed
intifada [entering] its second month.”

It should be emphasized that the announcements of the National and Islamic
Forces were published in a prominent and accentuated fashion in the official
Palestinian media that was totally controlled by the Palestinian Authority,
and they served as a manifesto for public action following a detailed plan,
and enjoying the full support of the Palestinian Authority.

Moreover, Palestinian government ministries fully collaborated with the
National and Islamic Forces and the local and regional committees, which
they established to reinforce the steadfast Palestinian stand during the
intifada. In its early days, calls by the National and Islamic Forces for
mass demonstrations, which were for all intents and purposes violent and
widespread riots, were synchronized with the Palestinian Ministry of
Education and involved many schoolchildren.

The Chairman of the Palestinian Authority, Yasser Arafat, made direct,
personal use of the National and Islamic Forces in order to coordinate
intifada activity, to ensure that the acts of violence and terror attacks
would facilitate the attainment of the PA’s and PLO’s political and
strategic objectives, as delineated by Arafat himself and his loyalists and
fellow travelers in the leadership.

Thus, for example, after the suicide bombing in the Dolphinarium night club
in Tel Aviv on June 1, 2002, carried out by Hamas, and as a result of the
severe international pressure applied on the PA to desist from terror and
act against terrorist organizations, Arafat convened the senior forum of the
National and Islamic Forces and directed them to temporarily lower the
flames of the intifada; in other words, reduce the level and severity of the
violence on a temporary basis for purely tactical reasons. This act
demonstrated the commanding ability of the Palestinian leadership to manage
and direct the terror campaign against Israel and control the extent and
intensity of the terror in light of changing circumstances. Their major
considerations were how the international arena would react and the degree
to which they feared an extensive Israeli military response.

The Intifada Was Not a Tactic But a Strategic Choice

The role of Arafat, the Palestinian Authority, and the National and Islamic
Forces in the Second Intifada was revealed by Sakhr Habash, a key Fatah
leader quoted earlier, who took part in meetings with representatives of the
National and Islamic Forces. Habash told the Lebanese paper Al-Mostaqbal on
September 29, 2001:

“The intifada’s policy and its demands are determined by our brother Abu
Amar (Arafat) and the Palestinian Authority, and more importantly, on the
ground [policy is set by the National and Islamic Forces], in other words,
fourteen organizations that are capable of continuing the intifada and the
muqawama [resistance/struggle]….The intifada is not a tactic, but our basic
strategic choice until the occupation has been removed, and liberty and an
independent state free of settlements has been obtained. Even if we were to
establish a state the intifada and the struggle would continue, perhaps via
other means, because it is obligatory to realize the refugees’ right of
return.”

How the Decision on the Outbreak of the Intifada Was Taken

A year after the Second Intifada began, Mamdouh Nofal, one of Yasser Arafat’s
advisers, described how the decision to launch the intifada was made
(Al-Dirasat Al-Filastiniya, Summer 2001):

“It [the intifada] is not a mass movement distinct from the Authority or
something that erupted by itself. The reverse is the case; it began on the
basis of a decision from above by the Authority before it turned into
popular activity. The matter occurred immediately after the visit by Sharon
to Al Aqsa. At that time the political and security bodies of the
Palestinian Authority convened and made a decision to defend Al Aqsa. Arafat
viewed Al Aqsa as the detonation point of the status quo that would suffice
to ignite a conflagration not only on Palestinian soil but would also impact
the situation outside the boundaries of Palestine. Decisions were made that
dealt with practical preparations, and meetings were held by the forces that
participated in the Authority, and it was decided to move them towards Al
Aqsa on Friday. Likewise, security measures for the mosque were reinforced
by bringing in additional guards and issuing directives to the security
apparatuses to enter Al Aqsa and defend it.”

This dovetails with the statement by Nofal in an interview with the French
weekly Le Nouvel Observateur (March 1, 2001), according to which Arafat
planned to launch the conflict with Israel prior to Sharon’s visit on the
Temple Mount. According to Nofal, “A few days before the visit by Sharon to
the mosque, when Arafat asked us to get ready to initiate the conflict, I
supported mass demonstrations and opposed the use of arms.”

Nofal noted further that the head of Preventive Security in the West Bank,
Jibril Rajoub, warned Arafat of the danger posed by a military conflict. But
his efforts proved in vain, for Arafat was persuaded that within two or
three days the situation would become insufferable to the point where the
Americans and the Arabs would advise Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak to
renew negotiations.

Approximately five months after the outbreak of the intifada (March 3,
2001), Imad Falluji, the PA’s Minister of Communications, admitted that the
Second Intifada was not a spontaneous uprising but planned by the PA
following the breakdown of the Camp David talks in July 2000.

According to an AP report, in the course of a visit to Lebanon, Falluji
remarked that it would be a mistake to think the intifada had broken out in
response to Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount at the end of
September. “It was planned since Arafat’s return from Camp David, and his
rejection of the American President Bill Clinton’s proposals,” stated
Falluji.

In a November 12, 2011, interview with Yasser Arafat’s widow, Suha Arafat,
on Palestinian Television, she made reference to the date of Arafat’s
decision to initiate the Second Intifada. “Arafat sent us far away before
the invasion of Ramallah. He said: ‘You have to leave Palestine, because I
want to start an intifada.’…He ordered us to leave because he had already
decided to carry out the intifada following the Oslo Accords and the failure
of Camp David (the Israeli-Palestinian talks in July 2000).”

In a Dubai Television interview on December 16, 2012, Suha repeated her
version: “Yasser Arafat made a decision to initiate the intifada right after
the failure of the Camp David talks. We met in Paris and he asked me to
remain there. When I asked why he said ‘because I am going to start an
intifada.’” As to Arafat’s motive for starting the intifada, Suha said: “He
told me that during the talks he was asked to betray the Palestinian people,
but he was not about to do so.”

Senior Hamas Official: Arafat Gave the Green Light to Terror Immediately
After Camp David Summit

Mahmoud Al-Zahar, one of Hamas’ senior leaders, admitted receiving a green
light to initiate terror attacks immediately after the Camp David summit.
According to a report in Al Quds (April 9, 2005), Al-Zahar noted that the
Palestinian Authority has reached the point that Hamas had warned about,
namely the Israeli occupation’s renunciation of the signed agreements with
the PLO, making it clear that “due to the failure of the negotiations at
Camp David, the PLO began telling Hamas that the gate was now open for
carrying out actions [terror attacks against Israel]. Hamas, however, didn’t
place credence in these approaches, and despite this it carried out actions
under the name of the Forces of Omar Al-Mukhtar.”

Asharq Alawsat reported on June 29, 2010, that Mahmoud Al-Zahar stated at a
ceremony marking the anniversary of the Second Intifada, that “Yasser Arafat
ordered the Hamas movement to carry out a number of military actions in the
heart of the Hebrew state, after he felt that the current negotiations with
the occupation government had failed.”

In an interview with the official website of the Hamas movement
(palestine-info.info) in October 2010, Al-Zahar was asked about his comment
regarding the permission that Arafat had granted to begin carrying out
terror attacks on the eve of the Second Intifada:

“[Question]: You said in previous comments that President Abu Amar [Yasser
Arafat] instructed Hamas to carry out terror attacks while he was besieged
in Ramallah. Can we expect that [current Palestinian President] Abu Mazen
[Mahmoud Abbas] will reach such a stage in his conduct with the [Hamas]
movement?

[Mahmoud Al-Zahar]: Abu Amar did not instruct Fatah to talk with Hamas about
carrying out terror attacks as part of a concept that supports resistance,
but because he desired to exploit terror attacks for tactical purposes. I
remember that I participated in a popular committee [meeting] with senior
leaders of the Fatah movement – Hani Al-Hassan, Abu Ali Shahin and Abdullah
Al-Hourani – [that took place] in Al-Sheikh Al-Awad Auditorium at Al-Azhar
[University in Gaza]. At that time the people attending the conference
raised the necessity for Hamas to carry out terror attacks against the
Israeli occupation, and this matter was no secret. Abu Amar wanted this as a
tactical measure for pressuring Israel via Hamas. Abu Mazen has neither the
courage nor the vision, and he is incapable of betting his life on such an
issue. With these words I intended to put the idea before the public that
resistance was employed at specific points of time for tactical objectives,
and it departs from a concept that seeks to improve negotiating conditions.
Therefore I’m not interested in a repeat attempt where we will make use of
reconciliation and resistance in order to improve negotiating conditions,
but it is necessary that they [reconciliation and resistance] be predicated
on a strategic concept and perspective.

Conclusion”

More than ten years after the outbreak of the Second Intifada, there are
still journalists, former security officials, and pundits who raise
questions about the role of the Palestinian Authority in the devastating
violence during which suicide bombing attacks struck Israel’s major cities,
leaving more than a thousand dead and many more permanently maimed.

Israel Channel 10 television’s “The Source” presented in February 2013 what
appeared to be a debate between the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) and
Israeli Military Intelligence over this issue. But one does not have to be
an intelligence officer to review the statements made by the Palestinian
leaders themselves about the origins of the Second Intifada.

This body of material, presented here in an unvarnished way, reveals that
Yasser Arafat and important segments of the Palestinian leadership at that
time were directly responsible for what happened and no amount of
revisionist history can exonerate Arafat for standing behind one of the
bloodiest periods in Israel’s modern history.

Appendix

The First Proclamation of the National and Islamic Forces Upon the Outbreak
of the Second Intifada

In the name of Allah the merciful and compassionate,
Announcement on behalf of the National and Islamic Forces
Oh members of our grand people,

The premeditated crime that was committed by the Barak government, that
found expression in yesterday’s firing [September 29, 2000] upon worshipers
at Al Aqsa Mosque, and the protection extended to these provocative measures
by the butcher Sharon who defiled the sacred place (Al Haram Al Sharif),
represent the crossing of a red line, a flagrant escalation of the position
of haughtiness and derision for our people’s sentiments, a denial of its
rights, and an attempt to secure illegal Israeli sovereignty in Al Quds and
the holy places.

The National and Islamic Forces, convening today [September 30, 2000] on the
eve of this cruel act of slaughter, announce a summons to the masses of our
people to continue the great popular action in protest over the criminal
slaughter and the continued Israeli defilement of the sacred place, and
other places holy to Islam and Christianity, and under the motto of the
struggle to emphasize full Palestinian sovereignty over Al Quds and thwart
any plan that stands in contradiction to this sovereignty. In this framework
the National and Islamic Forces demand that the Palestinian National
Authority refrain from any activity that will restrain the impetus of mass
action, and call for:

A declaration of comprehensive readiness within the ranks of all the
organizations to continue the mass activity, the immediate initiation of
meetings by the National and Islamic Forces of groups and institutions in
various districts and regions in order to pursue the activity. The forum
made a decision that it views itself as continuously in session in order to
monitor the mass activity.

An announcement that next Monday [October 2, 2000], the date marking the
liberation of Al Quds by the hero Salah A Din Al-Ayoubi, will be a day for
escalating comprehensive mass activity in order to liberate the holy city
and emphasize Palestinian sovereignty over it.

A summons to the masses of our people to continue the protest activity in
the Al Aqsa Mosque and formulate a plan for organized visits by college
students and school pupils at the initiative of the National and Islamic
Forces in the [diverse] regions in cooperation with the Ministry of
Education and Culture and the Ministry of Higher Education.

Congratulations to the masses of our people within the boundaries of 1948
and the masses who announced their steadfastness behind the Al Aqsa [Mosque]
who displayed a readiness to sacrifice on its behalf, and who translated
this position into unity with the blood that was shed on the soil of blessed
Al Aqsa and activity to reinforce the unity of our people wherever it may be
in the struggle for the defense of its holy places and on behalf of its
legitimate rights.

The defense system for Al Quds requires measures to reinforce our national
unity, the cohesion of our society, and the organization of our internal
front, and first and foremost the release of all the political prisoners and
a ban on political arrests.

A demand to halt the negotiations that are currently taking place as a
protest against the bloody crime and the continued Israeli derision for our
people, the denial of its rights, a matter that makes continued negotiations
sterile and fruitless, given Israeli stubbornness and the blind American
tendency to back Israel, that found expression in a law recently adopted by
the American Congress that merits condemnation.

A demand for the immediate release of a fighter from the National Security
[forces], who fired in Kalkilya at soldiers of the occupation in response to
Israeli arrogance and the defilement of the places sacred to Islam, by the
Israelis, who bear the complete political and moral responsibility for the
explosion of a cycle of violence due to the continued occupation and its
continued aggressive and intemperate activities.

A call upon the Arab and Islamic world, both peoples and governments, to
take practical measures to defend Al Quds and its holy places, and express
solidarity with our people and sustain its struggle on behalf of the holy
city’s liberation, and to emphasize Palestinian sovereignty over it.

The National and Islamic Forces congratulate the souls of the martyrs
[shahids] of the Al Aqsa massacre, and the other martyrs of our people, and
we swear before the masses of our people to continue the struggle in fealty
to their blood, until the occupation will be removed and the rights of our
people to return and enjoy national independence speedily will be extracted
by force.

Victory to our people that is waging a jihad and defeat for the occupation.

The Palestinian National Liberation Movement – Fatah
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
The Palestinian Democratic Union – FIDA
The Arab Liberation Front
The Islamic Resistance Movement – Hamas
The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
The Palestinian People’s Party
The Palestinian Popular Struggle Front
The Palestinian Arab Front

==============

About Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi

Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi is a senior researcher of the Middle East
and radical Islam at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He is a
co-founder of the Orient Research Group Ltd. and is a former advisor to the
Policy Planning Division of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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