Communicated by the Israeli Cabinet, October 29, 2001
The following speech was given by Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser
Arafat at the Palestine General Confederation of Trade Unions in Gaza on
The State of Israel wishes to clarify the following:
* The speech is inflammatory and inciteful despite the fact that Arafat has
repeatedly committed himself to restoring calm and quiet.
* In the fourth paragraph, Arafat refers to an Israeli plan – the “Oranim” plan –
which he calls “hellish”. The Government of Israel wishes to emphasize that no
such plan exists.
* Arafat places Jerusalem at the center of the struggle.
* In the penultimate paragraph, Arafat calls on women, children and the elderly
“The Palestinian convoy has turned towards the place that Muslims first faced
in prayer, and the third holiest city after Mecca and Medina, the place where
the Prophet Muhammad held his night journey and the cradle of our Lord Jesus
– holy Jerusalem, the capital of the Palestinian state, the capital of Palestine,
and whoever doesn’t like this can drink from the sea off Gaza.
Our masses turn their faces in pride and determination toward this goal despite
continuing attempts by those who believe that with their tanks, planes, missiles
and artillery they will succeed in subduing the Palestinian people.
We tell them: The wind will not succeed in moving the mountain! No one will
succeed in moving our people! “No community within my nation has ceased to preserve
the faith and defeat their enemies. Nobody who tries to harm them will damage
them. With God’s help, they will be victorious. They asked the Prophet: Who
are these people and where are they? He answered: In and around Jerusalem.
They are in a defensive holy war until Judgement Day and every fallen of theirs
is worth 70 fallen.” [From the Hadith.]
This is the graciousness that God has granted us. We are in a holy defensive
war until Judgement Day and, therefore, everyone must know that 104 years
after the Zionist Congress met in Basel and referred to ‘a land without a people
and a people without a homeland’, we are still on our land and whoever doesn’t
like it can go drink from the sea off Gaza. Despite these remarks about ‘a land
without a people for a people without a homeland’, we are still on this land and
we are still fighting and struggling with strength and determination in order to
prove that this people will win! Will win! They are in a defensive holy war until
Dear brothers! You represent the base and the strong roots of this people that
is fighting and struggling and I pin especially great hopes on you and your
heroes because we are convinced that we have a strong and mighty base. Dear
brothers! We are standing before an important stage in light of what they are
preparing in their ‘Oranim’ plan, a hellish plan, which they expect our people to
be afraid of. However, these massacres only strengthen the resolve and faith of
our people. We will continue, God willing, on this path until a Palestinian child is
able to unfurl the Palestinian flag atop the walls of Jerusalem, its mosques and
its churches, the Jerusalem that will be, God willing, the capital of the State of
Palestine. Dear brothers! This is our aspiration. This is the will of our people and
the aspiration of the Arab nation and free people all over the world. They look
to you in the hope that you will determinedly realize this dream for them.
I make these remarks when all of us know that you have suffered for a long
time, especially when we have 150,000 unemployed workers. If this had
happened to another people, they would have certainly broken by now. But
despite this, we have borne the burden and this shows our strong determination
I make these remarks so that all of them may hear, from Sharon and Netanyahu
and to America, Japan, Indonesia, South Africa, Russia, in the north and in the
south. The Palestinian people will be victorious whether you like it or not and
will establish its state. ‘They see it from afar but we see it from close and we
speak the truth. They will enter the mosque as they did at first. God will not
break his promise! God will not break his promise! [From the Hadith.]
Dear brothers! Together, shoulder to shoulder, hand in hand, step by step, out
of faith and determination, we will, God willing, merit that a Palestinian boy or
girl will plant our flag atop the walls of Jerusalem, atop its mosques, and this
flag will be seen atop the churches of Jerusalem.
I know that we are on a difficult journey however they are subject to a
defensive holy war until Judgement Day. This is the graciousness which God
has bestowed on us. Those who are hostile to them will not defend them when
they are subject to a defensive holy war until Judgement Day.
I make these remarks and hope that the sighs which we hear from our children
will win merit for the nation. These are the children who bodily stand in front of
the tanks of the Israeli occupation. Is there anyone capable of moving that
same child who is facing a tank, a cannon, a plane or a missile? There is no one
capable of doing this! They are subject to a defensive holy war until Judgement
Day in which children, women, men and the elderly are all taking part.
We swear to God! We swear to the homeland and the holy places of
Christianity and Islam that we are guarding, that we will complete this journey!
We will complete this journey!