Hammas and PFLP raise the stakes

The President of the Palestine Authority has called for an immediate end to the Intifada and the return to serious peace talks with Israel. In a speech broadcast by the Palestine Authority TV and Radio stations yesterday, Yasser Arafat stated: “I appeal once more for a total stoppage in all operations, namely the suicide attacks, which we have always condemned”.

He declared that all acts of violence should cease “totally and immediately” because such acts serve only to give Israel “pretexts to launch attacks against us”.

These attacks he denounced as “a ferocious war against the Palestine Authority, its institutions, its security forces and its infra-structures”.

The Palestine Authority has closed down 33 offices belonging to extremist groups Hammas and Islamic Jihad and has called on Israel to return to the negotiating table immediately.

However, Hammas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine have rejected the call for an end to the Intifada (uprising). Hammas declared: “We are sure that we will triumph if we continue our Jihad and our legitimate resistance against occupation”. The PFLP also declared that it will proceed in its resistance against Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands and declared that a cease-fire now would give Ariel Sharon’s government new vigour in imposing more concessions on the Palestinians and establishing its will over their people.


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