Arafat condemns terrorism

Statement by Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Authority leadership

13 April 2002

Full text. English translation issued by WAFA (the official Palestinian news agency)

President Yasser Arafat and the PNA Leadership express their condemnation to all acts of terrorism targeting civilians, be they Israelis or Palestinians, including state, group or individual terrorism. This sterns from a staunch principle of rejecting a turn to violence and terrorism against civilians as a method to achieve political gains.

Based on this position, which we have declared since 1988 and during the signing of the Oslo agreements at the White House, we have reiterated this position several times including on 16 December 2001, when, after which, we did not find any Israeli response to this declaration military escalation, suffocating siege and a continuous occupation of our people, refugee camps, cities and villages, as well as the total destruction of our infrastructure.

Henceforth, we strongly condemn the violent operations targeting Israeli civilian, particularly the last one in Jerusalem, as we strongly condemn the massacres conducted, and still being conducted, by the Israeli occupation forces against Palestinian civilians and refugees for the past two weeks in the city of Nablus, Jenin refugee camp and the church of Nativity in Bethlehem, in addition to other Palestinian territories.

We call upon the International Community, the Security Council and Mr. Colin Powell, who is on an international mission fore the sake of peace, to pay attention to these massacres the befell our people, because of the Israeli occupation, and the Israeli government's insistence to obliterate our people's aspirations for freedom and independence by the use of military force, tanks, Jetfighter, rockets, shells and automatic weapons.

In the name of the Palestinian people, we affirm, once again, our commitment to just peace between the two peoples and two states, the peace that guarantees security for Israelis and freedom and independence in a sovereign state for the Palestinian people, security for all shall be only achieved by peace, and not through occupation, military force, massacres and terrorist acts particularly against civilians, which will never bring security and peace to neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians.

In light of Security Council resolutions, International decisions, President Bush and his Secretary of State declarations and the Quadlateral committee (American, Russian, European and the United Nations), statement in Madrid as well as Mr. Powell's visit, and his presence amongst us, we all have to work in stopping this war and the immediate Israeli withdrawal in order to instantly implement Tenet Understandings, Mitchell Report and immediate negotiations on the bases of the Arab Summit in Beirut.

This also for the protection of our Christian and Muslim Holy Sites, and the necessity of having an International peace force to monitor this implementation.