Yasser Arafat: We strongly condemn the violent operations that target Israeli civilians

From a statement delivered by the chairman of the Palestinian Authority ahead of his meeting with Colin Powell, the US Secretary of State
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The Independent Online

We express our condemnation of all terrorist acts against civilians, whether Israelis or Palestinians and whether this terrorism is sponsored by a state, group or person.

This is based on the firm principle of rejecting the use of violence and terrorism against civilians or as a means of achieving political aims. We have embraced this position since 1988. We expressed it on signing the Oslo accord at the White House and reiterated it several times. We, however, received no Israeli response, but rather a military escalation, a choking siege, a continued occupation of our people, camps, cities and villages, and a comprehensive destruction of our infrastructure.

We strongly condemn the violent operations that target Israeli civilians, especially the recent operation in Jerusalem. We also strongly condemn the massacres the Israeli occupation forces have been committing for the past two weeks against the Palestinian civilians and refugees in the city of Nablus and Jenin Camp.

We urge the international community, the [United Nations] Security Council and Mr Colin Powell, who is on an international mission for peace, to become acquainted with these massacres and bloodbaths plaguing our people due to the Israeli occupation.

We have to work together to stop this war, start an immediate implementation of the Tenet understanding and Mitchell report and begin immediate negotiations on the basis of the Arab summits and the Saudi initiative adopted by the Arab summit in Beirut. We emphasise the importance of an international peace force to ensure the implementation of the above-mentioned resolutions and initiatives.