Throughout the world, people are furious at the brutal Israeli military occupation of the Palestinian territories and at the armed settlers. People are demanding that the Israeli government implement the right of return for Palestinian refugees in accordance with UN Resolution 194 on the question of the Palestinian refugees, who have been the victims of this catastrophe – ‘al-Nakba’ in Arabic – for 55 years. The eyes of the world have watched in horror and outrage as the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) use arms of destruction, brutal and barbaric methods against the Palestinian people; Jenin is one example.
Throughout the world, at the same time, people are furious watching the US government launch a brutal war to conquer Iraq. This invasion is conquest, not liberation – just as in Palestine we are fighting occupation, not ‘disputed land.’
They are using bullets to create authority, planning together for one united purpose: US imperialist interests in the region and Israeli Zionist hegemonism and occupation.
After the violation of the sovereignty of Iraq, the administration of George Bush is threatening Syria, firing up threats by Israeli broadcasts and the media, claiming that Iraq gave the weapons of mass destruction to Syria and those arms are in military warehouses, and accusing the regime of Damascus of protecting ‘Palestinian terrorist organizations,’ using threats and pressure on Syria to expel these organizations.
Hosting nations like Syria are not responsible for al-Nakba; the settler state of Israel is responsible. There is a large Palestinian community in refugee camps in these nations, who are the victims of the Zionist rape of our homes and properties in the historical land of Palestine. We were expelled by force at the point of a gun in 1948.
The accusations against Syria by Washington are unacceptable. Syria hosts over 400,000 Palestinians. National and democratic Palestinian factions have been there for years playing a role in the development of the rights and necessities of the Palestinian communities in the refugee camps, with one objective, the first and the last, which is the liberation of the land, the creation of an independent state in the territories occupied in June 1967, with Jerusalem as its capital and the right of return promised in UN Resolution 194.
The Israelis understand that these refugee camps with large Palestinian population are the main centre of recruitment for the fightback for our rights and for resistance against the occupation (from the time of the first armed spark in 1964). For that reason, Israel tried to isolate the refugees from economic, humanitarian and solidarity aid.
But we are never going to surrender or drop our steadfast defence of our rights and our land because of any pressure or at any cost.
These refugees are a product of the usurpation of their homes and properties, so that today they are guests in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza Strip, and all over the world. Israel is the nation that is responsible. Suppose Washington accused and condemned that nation, which refuses to implement the UN resolutions on the Palestinian question, especially Resolution 194, the right of return!
All the pressures from the US and Israel are intended to get the Palestinians to surrender and give up the Intifada, the resistance; to divide the West Bank and Gaza Strip into seven cantons linked by tunnels and bridges, without Jerusalem as the capital; and to dilute the right of return.
Today, a ‘new face’ in the Palestinian Authority (PA) administration, the new prime minister Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), follows the old PA policies with the object of not responding to the Intifada and the national resistance, but of adopting the ‘road map,’ which is the other face of the suicidal path of Oslo. These echelons in the PA follow one faction’s policies; they ignore all the foundations of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the factions, each of them part of the umbrella of the PLO, and even ignore the programme of the Palestinian National Assembly (PNA), which agreed to build a ‘united national command.’
The plan of the road map, created by Washington think tanks, after long meetings with the Israelis and Zionist intelligence agencies, is to give time to the Israel occupation to firm up its roots in the occupied land, to divide the West Bank and Gaza Strip, dependent on Israeli and US policies, to make the city of Jerusalem Israeli, to dilute the right of return, and to control the region.
The Palestinian Authority’s agenda was not to review the crisis in the infrastructure for building a ‘united Palestinian home’— which is the main national issue. Its agenda was to freeze the armed resistance without any guarantee in writing that would: protect the rights of the Palestinians; pressure the Israeli government to stop the massacres, destruction and the occupation by the Israeli military forces and armed settlers; stop the campaign of arrests of thousands of Palestinians now in Israeli prisons, the arrests of leaders, members of the Executive Committee of the PLO like commander and political leader Tayseer Khaled, who was arrested by forces on February 16, 2003 [and released on June 2, 2003]. This behaviour is against human rights and the Geneva Convention, showing that Israel does not respect international human rights laws.
But the answer for our rights and determination is not in the hands of Zionist Israel, backed by US imperialist policies. This determination with dignity is in the hands of the heroic Palestinian people, and this is the moment to appeal to all of you in the world to raise up your voices for justice, peace and rights in the Middle East and in the world.
Our Intifada is the answer to injustice and occupation. No voice is higher than the Intifada.
No to the systematic terrorism of the US and Israel!
No peace without an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital and the right of return!
The Intifada and resistance will continue until victory!
York County (PA) Prison
June 5, 2003
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