Claims by a top Israeli official that the Palestinian Authority plans to destroy Israel in stages through the Oslo Accords are supported by numerous statements in Arabic by Palestinian leaders, according to a regional press monitor.

Israeli Defense Forces Chief of Staff Moshe Ya’alon’s assessment in an interview published this week in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz has caused a political stir, notes Palestinian Media Watch. But Palestinian leaders such as Faisal Husseini, PA representative for Jerusalem affairs, have explicitly stated that the Oslo process, which began in 1993, is a Trojan horse designed to wipe Israel off the map.

“Had the U.S. and Israel realized, before Oslo, that all that was left of the Palestinian National movement and the Pan-Arab movement was a wooden horse called Arafat or the PLO, they would never have opened their fortified gates and let it inside their walls,” Husseini said in an interview with the Egyptian publication Al-Arabi’, June 24, 2001.

Husseini said that the Intifada “could have been much better, broader, and more significant had we made it clearer to ourselves that the Oslo agreement, or any other agreement, is just a temporary procedure, or just a step towards something bigger. . . .”

“We distinguish the strategic, long-term goals from the political-phased goals, which we are compelled to temporarily accept due to international pressure,” Husseini said.

“[Palestine], according to the higher strategy, [is] ‘from the river to the sea,'” he said referring to a common description of Israel. ‘Palestine in its entirety is an Arab land, the land of the Arab nation.”

In the Ha’aretz interview, Ya’alon was asked to clarify whether he believed the goal of Arafat is to liquidate Israel by stages.

“Of course,” the Israel defense chief responded. “Not to reach an agreement and not to arrive at the end of their claims, in order to preserve the conflict and to let time run its course according to the phased theory.”

United worldview

Palestinian Media Watch says its research demonstrates a clear and united worldview within the Palestinian leadership that defines Israel as a colony that stole the land of “Palestine” and thus has no right to exist.

In speeches, sermons, educational programs and school textbooks published by the PA, the Oslo process is called a “stage,” a temporary agreement that is necessary “because of the current balance of power” in which Israel has a huge military advantage.

The “permanent status agreement” with Israel is viewed as “Hudna,” an Islamic term meaning cease-fire.

In an interview on Palestinian television, Sept. 1, 2000, Israeli Arab Knesset Member Abd-Al Malek Dahamshe responded to a telephone call from a viewer who said: “Our problem with Israel is not a border problem, but one of existence.”

Dahamshe responded: “We exaggerate when we say ‘peace’ . . . what we are [really] speaking about is ‘Hudna.'”

In an interview with the official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, April 14, 2000, Abdullah Al-Hourani, chairman of the Palestinian National Council Political Committee, responded to the question, “How do you read the future of the peace process?”

Al-Hourani said:

“Whether they return to negotiations or not, and whether they fulfill the agreements or not, the political plan is a temporary agreement, and the conflict remains eternal, will not be locked, and the agreements being talked about are regarding the current balance of power. As to the struggle, it will continue. It may pause at times, but in the final analysis, Palestine is ours from the [Mediterranean] Sea to the [Jordan] River.”

Oslo is just the first step in the destruction of Israel, Abd El Aziz Shahian, Palestinian Authority Minister of Supplies, said in an interview May 20, 2000, with Al Ayyam, an Arabic daily in the Palestinian territories.

“The Palestinian people accepted the Oslo agreements as a first step and not as a permanent settlement, based on the premise that the war and struggle in the land is more efficient than a struggle from a distant land,” he said, referring to the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s base in Tunisia prior to the Oslo process.

The Palestinian minister said his “people will continue the revolution until they achieve the goals of the ’65 revolution,” referring to the founding of the PLO and publication of the Palestinian charter that calls for the destruction of Israel through an armed struggle.

Salim Alo’adia Abu Salam, supervisor of political affairs for the PA, told Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 20, 2000, that “when we picked up the gun in ’65 and the modern Palestinian revolution began, it had a goal. This goal has not changed and it is the liberation of Palestine.”

Palestinian state not end of the road

Yasser Arafat’s deputy, Othman Abu Arbiah, has stated that the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital is a means toward eliminating Israel.

“At this stage we’ll prevail in our struggle [toward] the goals of the stages [plan],” he said in an interview with Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 25, 1999. “The goal of this stage is the establishment of the independent Palestinian state, with its capital in Jerusalem. When we achieve this, it will be a positive [step] and it will advance us to the next stage via other ways and means.”

Abu Arbiah said “every Palestinian must know clearly and unequivocally that the independent Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as its capital is not the end of the road. The [rise of] the Palestinian state is a stage after which there will be another stage and that is the democratic state in all of Palestine [in place of Israel].”

Palestinian Media Watch notes that Abu Arbiah is Arafat’s aide for political guidance and national affairs and the director-general for national affairs, a senior position in the Palestinian national educational structure.

Imad Alfalugi, the PA minister of communication, told Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 18, 1999, “Our people have hope for the future, that the occupation state [Israel] ceases to exist, and that it makes no difference [how great] its power and arrogance. . . .”

Claim rooted in Islam

The preacher of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Sheikh Yousuf Abu Sneina, declared, in a distinct religious context, the belief that all of Israel is “Palestine” forever.

“The Islamic land of Palestine is one and can not be divided. There is no difference between Haifa and Nablus, between Lod and Ramallah, between Jerusalem and Nazareth, between Gaza and Ashkelon,” he said on Palestinian television, Sept. 8, 2000, referring to cities in Israel and PA territory. “The land of Palestine is Waqf land that belongs to Muslims throughout the world and no one has the right to act freely or the right to make concessions or to abandon her. Whoever does this betrays a [trust] and is nothing more than a loathsome criminal whose abode is in Hell!”

Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, PA-appointed mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine, said in a Jan. 11, 2001, television broadcast that emphasis on gaining Jerusalem should not be viewed as conceding other parts of Israel.

“We are discussing the current problems and when we speak about Jerusalem it doesn’t mean that we have forgotten about Hebron or about Jaffa or about Acre,” the sheikh said. “We are speaking about the current problems that have priority at a certain time. It doesn’t mean that we have given up. . . . We have announced a number of times that from a religious point of view Palestine from the sea to the river is Islamic.”

All agreements are temporary, said Dr. Ahmed Yousuf Abu Halbiah, a member of Palestinian Sharianic (Islamic law) Rulings Council and rector of advanced studies at the Islamic University, evoking Islam’s founder in a July 28, 2000, message on Palestinian television.

“We the nation of Palestine, our fate from Allah is to be the vanguard in the war against the Jews until the resurrection of the dead, as the Prophet Muhammad said: The resurrection of the dead will not come until you do battle with the Jews and kill them. We the Palestinians, are the vanguard in this issue, in this battle, whether we want to or whether we refuse. All the agreements being made are temporary.”

Dr. Muhammad Ibrahim Madi, a PA religious leader, said on Palestinian television, April 12, 2002:

“We are positive that Allah will help us triumph. Our belief is firm that one day we will enter Jerusalem as conquerors, enter Jaffa as conquerors, Ramle and Lod. and all of Palestine, as conquerors. “If [Allah] asks [Arab leaders], on Judgment Day: ‘The majority of Palestine was lost in ’48, and what did you do? And the remainder was lost in ’67, and now it is being vanquished again.’ How shall we respond to our Lord?”

Madi said “Palestine shall be the burial grounds of the invaders just as it was for the Tartars, and the Crusaders and for modern colonialism. The Tradition relates to us that Allah’s cherished one [Muhammad] said: ‘The Jews will battle against you but you shall emerge masters over them.'”

Madi said on Palestinian television, Aug. 3, 2001:

“We will blow them up in Hadera, we will blow them up in Tel-Aviv and in Netanya. . . . We will fight against them and rule over them until the Jew will hide behind the trees and stones and the tree and stone will say: ‘Muslim! Servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, kill him.’ We will enter Jerusalem as conquerors, and Jaffa as conquerors, and Haifa as conquerors and Ashkelon as conquerors. . . .”

On June 8, 2001, Madi said:

“Who is responsible for the loss of Palestine, the good land that the passages of the dear Koran bless many times, and [for] deceitfully labeling it Israel? Who is responsible for the loss of Jerusalem. . . . The Prophet [Muhammad] soothes us with many Hadiths that Palestine shall return to its former days. . . . We must prepare a foothold, for the coming army of Allah, by divine predetermination. May it be Allah’s will, this oppressing state shall pass, Israel shall pass. . . .”

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