The following are selections from “Basic Fateh Position” – “an editorial submitted to the press by the Palestinian Liberation Movement, Fateh” which was published in the September 5, 1997 edition of The Jerusalem Weekly.

The Palestinian leadership understands that the US demand represents an Israeli strong desire not for peace but to create a situation which results in a Palestinian civil war. In fact, asking the PNA to make 100% effort means transforming it into an army of collaborators and agents according to Israeli dictates. That will never happen. The PNA remains the outcome of the PLO, and it represents the Palestinian dream that will one day come true.

… the Accords do not commit the Palestinian side to execute Israeli demands of arresting members of the opposition or destroying the infrastructure of that position. The Oslo Accords commit the Palestinian party to applying its own laws, which consider illegal all actions that directly harm the peace process.

The PNA will never act the way the Israelis used to. It cannot, for example, impose collective punishment on its people. It is true that the PNA could act against Jihad and Hamas through paralyzing their infrastructure and arresting some members. That is only adopted when these position forces declared their responsibility for attacks resulting in loss of lives.

However, talks between these forces and the PNA have led to a general understanding that bars any opposition group from carrying out actions that may undermine the jurisdiction of the PNA or jeopardize its security. Following this understanding, the PNA released all detainees who proved to have no connection whatsoever with actions considered criminal according to the Palestinian law. Therefore, it is utterly illegal for the PNA to redetain innocent people who were released earlier.

In fact, the PNA will be violating human rights stated in international conventions if it, for example, puts in prison a person like Abdul Aziz El-Rantisi, a leading member of Hamas.

… if Albright’s emphasis is the implementation of Israeli dictates, the US Secretary of State may not be able to achieve a breakthrough. Although we are eager to see the US shouldering its responsibility towards the peace process as a co-sponsor. Palestinians will not welcome her arrival if it becomes conditioned upon Palestinian execution of 100% security measures. We will not be happy to see the killer attending the funeral procession of the victim.

… Our dealing with Albright’s initiative will be based on our steadfast adherence to peace agreements and to our national rights including the right of return. self determination and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. We will not, therefore, allow Israel to turn Albright’s projected visit into an attempt to patch up an outlet for Netanyahu’s government, which has imposed the most inhumane measures on our people.

In facing such a possibility the Palestinian leadership has decided to adopt a policy of steadfastness and confrontation. A special committee has been set up to put forward a plan to be implemented at the political level by providing answers to possible questions Albright’s visit may pose.

The Jerusalem Times, 5th September, 1997

Dr. Aaron Lerner,
Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
P.O.BOX 982 Kfar Sava
Tel: (+972-9) 760-4719
Fax: (+972-9) 741-1645