Senior PA Official Says Violence Against Israel Is “Legitimate Resistance,” Not Terrorism
June 16, 2003

NEW YORK- The Palestinian Authority’s Minister of Information has declared that Palestinian Arab violence against Israelis is “legitimate resistance.”

PA Minister of Information Nabil Amr said (Doha Al-Jazira Television, June 14, 2003): “As regards the word terrorism, I do not know why when the Palestinians denounce the word terrorism, certain people think that this means resistance. There is no text anywhere that says that the Palestinian people’s resistance is terrorism, which we denounce…Yes, we denounce terrorism. Anyone who says that denouncing terrorism means denouncing resistance is doing an injustice to legitimate resistance and is in effect labeling it with terrorism.”

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) points out that President Bush’s Road Map plan requires the Palestinian Arabs not only to halt all “terrorism,” but also all “violence,” regardless of whether or not the PA considers the violence legitimate.

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said: “The PA’s attempt to justify ongoing violence against Israelis is its most blatant violation yet of President Bush’s Road Map plan. Why is the Bush administration silent in the face of these outrageous PA statements?”

He added: “Nabil Amr’s remarks make it clear that Abu Mazen recent statements allegedly renouncing terrorism are tricks and lies, just as Yasir Arafat’s similar statements over the years proved to be tricks and lies.”

The ZOA notes that PA prime minister Abu Mazen, in his first press conference (Doha Al-Jazira Television, June 3, 2003), was asked about his previous statements suggesting a temporary halt to some types of terrorist attacks. He replied: “We called for ending the militarization of the intifada. Nobody can prevent people from expressing the popular stand through peaceful means, as was the case in the first intifada.” That “peaceful intifada” actually included thousands of firebomb attacks, stabbings, and stonings; steering a bus into a ravine off the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway, murdering 16 people (including an American woman, attorney Rita Levine of Philadelphia) [July 1989]; hijacking a Beersheba bus and murdering 3 passengers [March 1988]; grenade attack on the Haifa mall, wounding 25 people. [August 1988]

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