Even before Yasir Arafat’s statement on 13 April 2002 condemning terrorism Arafat had repeatedly condemned suicide bombings both in Arabic and in English. Here are just two examples obtained from BBC monitoring.
Even before Yasir Arafat’s statement on 13 April 2002 condemning terrorism Arafat had repeatedly condemned suicide bombings both in Arabic and in English.
Here are just two examples obtained from BBC monitoring.
1. On Palestinian TV, on 28 March 2002, at 20:08 GMT, Arafat stated in Arabic:
“On this occasion, I would like once again to reiterate our condemnation of yesterday’s operation in Netanya, in which a number of innocent Israeli civilians were killed and wounded. This operation constitutes a deviation from our policy and a violation of our national and human values.
“I affirm our commitment to working toward an immediate cease-fire, as we informed General Zinni. We highly value his efforts.
“We informed him that we are ready for the immediate implementation of the Tenet’s work plan without conditions, and without prejudicing any of its articles. Also, we have informed him of our readiness to implement the Mitchell Report recommendations in cooperation with the four-way US-Russian-European-UN committee headed by Gen. Zinni.”
2. On December 16, 2001, in a speech on the occasion of Id al-Fitr in Ramallah (Gaza Palestine Satellite Channel Television, in Arabic, on 16 December 2001 at 16:00 GMT) Arafat stated in Arabic:
“Today, I emphasize once again the complete and immediate halt to all armed operations. Once again, I call for a complete halt to all operations, especially suicidal operations, which we have always condemned.
“We will punish all those who carry out and mastermind such operations.
“This also applies to the firing of mortar shells, which have no objective but to provide an excuse for the Israeli attacks on us, our people, our children, and our women.
“Any violation of this decision will be considered an attempt to harm the higher national interests of our people and of our Arab nation.”
Author: Ali Abunimah and Hussein Ibish
News Service: The Electronic Intifada