Suicide attacks prevent massacres of Arabs.
Israel’s occupation of Palestine will end when the Arabs and Muslim world are strong.

Excerpts from interview:

“When Mr. Arafat kissed me, it was a routine kiss, not a political kiss”, said Hamas’s political leader in Gaza, Abdel-Aziz Rantisi, smiling.

Rantisi was referring to the now famous photograph that captured him being embraced by Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat at a Palestinian “National Unity” conference…. the image has since been used by Netanyahu as evidence that Arafat is more interested in “embracing terrorism” than “fighting” it.

Rantisi cuts a remarkably relaxed figure…. That may be because he knows he is unlikely to be netted in the PA’s current sweep…. the PA’s Gaza head of Preventive security, Mohamed Dahlan, declared that there would be no mass arrests… and that Rantisi was not on the PA’s “wanted list.”

There are reasons for the PA’s reticence.

One is Rantisi’s pedigree of struggle. Born in the Palestine village of Jibna in 1947… Rantisi has been a refugee since 1948 and is a pediatrician who has spent the better part of the last decade in Israeli prisons. In 1992 he acquired international renown as the spokesperson of the 415 suspected Hamas and Islamic Jihad supporters Israel expelled to… South Lebanon.

But a stronger reason is Rantisi’s position in Hamas. By common assent, he is the Islamist’s most senior political leader in Gaza and probably throughout the Occupied Territories. He is credited with healing the breach that appeared between Hamas’s Gaza and Jordan based leaderships after the mauling the movement received at the hands of the PA following the 1996 suicide operations.

Over the last six months Hamas partially reactivated its network of social services throughout the Gaza Strip and, following the collapse of the Oslo process, scored impressive political victories in elections for Gaza’s UNRWA and Engineers’ staff associations….

Unlike some Islamist intellectuals, he [Rantisi] has little time for talk of alliance with Yasser Arafat’s Fatah movement to unite Palestinian ranks at a time of national crisis. “I see Fatah as part of the PA,” he says, “I hope Fatah will soon realize its mistake in supporting Oslo.” Nor is he overly troubled as to whether suicide bombings hurt or help the Palestinian cause. “I don’t know if the military operations [suicide bombings] make Palestinians stronger or weaker”, he says. “I only know what every Palestinian knows [namely] that without revenge, Israeli attacks like the massacre in Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque will be repeated.”

Rantisi’s overall vision for liberating Palestine is similarly basic. “We must wait”, he says. “Israel’s occupation of Palestine has lasted 50 years, which is not a long time in the life of a state. Palestinians must be patient until they and the Arab and Muslim world are strong again.”