President Arafat's statement on Israeli aggression and terrorism
Last Saturday, April 13, President of the Palestinian National Authority Yasser Arafat made a statement strongly condemning terrorism and the Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people. President Arafat expressed his and the Palestinian leadership's deep condemnation of all terrorist activities, whether they be state terrorism, terrorism by a group or individual terrorism. "This position comes from our steady principle that rejects using violence and terror against civilians as a way to achieve political goals", said President Arafat. "We declared this position beginning in 1988 and also when we signed the Oslo Accords at the White House, and we have repeated it several times since, including our declaration on December 16 last year." Israel's only response was an "escalation, a tighter siege, further occupation of our people, refugee camps, cities, villages, and more destruction of our infrastructure. "We strongly condemn all the attacks targeting civilians from both sides, and especially the attack that took place against Israeli citizens yesterday in Jerusalem. "We also condemn very strongly the massacre that was committed by the Israeli occupation troops against our refugees in Jenin and against our people in Ramallah, Nablus and Tulkarem and also the brutal aggression against the church in Bethlehem during the last two weeks." President Arafat called on the international community, the UN Security Council and Mr Colin Powell to undertake an international peace mission in the region to investigate these massacres against the Palestinian people. President Arafat spoke of the need to investigate the Israeli occupation and the Israeli Government's determination to kill the Palestinian hope for liberty and freedom by using military forces, tanks, missiles and weapons. "On behalf of the Palestinian people, we once again emphasise our full commitment to a fair and just peace between the two peoples and two states as a strategic choice — peace that could provide security for the Israelis and liberty and freedom in an independent state for the Palestinian people. "Only through peace will security be achieved for everyone, not through occupation and military operations, massacres and terrorist attacks, especially against civilians, which will not provide peace and security for either Palestinians or Israelis. "We have to all work together, especially after the recent UN resolutions", territories and immediate implementation of the Tenet understandings and Mitchell report and the resumption of negotiations based on what was decided in the Arab summit, and the Saudi Arabian initiative that was adopted by the Arab Summit in Beirut to protect Christian and Muslim holy places..." President Arafat stressed the importance of having international peace forces follow up and monitor the implementation of these decisions.