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Tuesday, October 8, 2002
Senior PLO official indicates Charter still calls to destroy Israel

Senior PLO official indicates Charter still calls to destroy Israel

[IMRA: Simon Peres praised the supposed deletion of the call for the
destruction of the State of Israel from the PLO Charter as the most
important development in over a generation. yet time and again critics note
that the Charter was never actually changed. In the report before PLO
Foreign Minister Faruq Qaddumi agrees with the critics - "PLO no longer
recognizes Israel and adheres to its national charter, which includes
clauses that call for Israel's destruction." That is to say: the clauses
are still there.]

Qaddumi : PLO No Longer Recognizes Israel

[With thanks to MidEastweb http://www.mideastweb.org ]

PLO's Qaddumi Says PLO No Longer Recognizes Israel
Dubai http://www.albayan.co.ae (07 Oct 02

In the strongest Palestinian reaction to the practices of Ari'el
Sharon's government toward the Palestinians, Palestinian Foreign Minister
[as published] Faruq Qaddumi has stated that the PLO no longer recognizes
Israel and adheres to its national charter, which includes clauses that call
for Israel's destruction. He pointed out that the recognition of Israel by
the "Oslo group", as he put it, can no longer be justified in reality after
Israel had violated all the agreements it concluded with the Palestinians.
However, he reiterated his adherence to the PA leadership's administration
of the Palestinian affairs at home.

In exclusive remarks to Al-Bayan yesterday morning in Dubai, Qaddumi
said that the massacres committed by the Israeli troops against the
Palestinians must be met with massacres against the Israelis at the hands of
the Palestinians. He praised all types of military operations carried out
by the Palestinian resistance fighters against Israelis.

Qaddumi's remarks are the first of this kind by a senior Palestinian
official in the PLO since the signing of the Oslo agreement. Qaddumi is
one of the most prominent aides of Palestinian President Arafat, who is
besieged in Ramallah. The remarks follow several hints by a number of
Palestinian leaders indicating that the Palestinians are thinking of
withdrawing their recognition of Israel following Sharon's remarks about the
cancellation of the Oslo agreement.

Abu-al-Lutf [Faruq Qaddumi] noted that the Palestinians will continue to
treat the Jewish state as an alien entity so long as it does not recognize
the Palestinians' right to self-determination and statehood. He noted that
the new Palestinian stance of withdrawing recognition of Israel is primarily
based on the Israeli side's failure to honor the agreements concluded with
the Palestinians.

The Palestinian Foreign Minister, who declined to clarify whether or not
the new stance vis-a-vis Israel is an official one, noted that the
Palestinian people have the ultimate say in this regard. However, he
renewed his trust in the PA's administration of the Palestinian affairs at
home "the same as we are responsible for the Palestinian affairs abroad."

In his response to a question on the recent US decision that considers
Jerusalem the unified capital of Israel, Qaddumi used a mild language that
is different from the tone that the Palestinians have been using since US
President Bush's signature on the Congress bill in this regard. He noted
that the US President, who he said had been tricked by the Congress in this
respect, has linked his acceptance of the bill to the fact that it is
non-binding to his administration. Qaddumi described the bill as being
similar to the other decisions related to the Middle East crisis that the US
Congress has been making under pressure from the Zionist lobby. However,
he noted that the new decision includes the unprecedented step of declaring
Jerusalem Israel's unified capital.

Qaddumi warned the US administration against the practical
implementation of the Congress decision, such as moving the US Embassy from
Tel Aviv to Jerusalem without explicitly declaring that East Jerusalem is an
occupied land and the capital of the state of Palestine. He added:
Anything short of this means the destruction of the political settlement in
the region." He stressed that the question of Jerusalem and the refugees
are the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Abu-al-Lutf rejected the calls to strike at US interests abroad in
response to the biased policy pursued by the US administration in the
region. He added that threats to the US interests would come from harming
them by boycotting the United States economically and commercially,
withdrawing funds from US banks, and suspending the oil supplies. He
denied that the Palestinians, in the absence of an Arab pressure on the US
administration, are inclined to drop the Arab option. He stressed that the
Arab initiative endorsed by the Beirut summit in March represent the
Palestinians' terms of reference. The Palestinians, he added, are an
indivisible part of the Arab nation and any improvement in the nation's
affairs means improvement for us as well. After all, he added, "your nose
is part of you, even if it is crooked." [An Arab proverb].

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