Summary and Analysis

The Palestinian Authority made it clear Thursday that it expects a show of rage and protest tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday, and in this context it also turned its microphones over to Marwan al-Barghouti, the head of Fatah-Tanzim. (see below)

In an interview that lasted more than six minutes, Barghouti specifically called on Palestinians not to fire their weapons from inhabited locations-so as not to draw Israeli fire, but the implication was clear: firing weapons was fine as long as it did not endanger Palestinian civilians.

These actions and statements made it clear that Yasser Arafat, who controls VOP directly, is not steering clear of Baghrouti and his espousal and dispatch of violence, but rather endorsing and encouraging his statements and actions.

In its morning news round-up, VOP contended that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak had a new plan: trading control of the Jerusalem holy sites in exchange for deferral of the right of return for refugees.

Interview with Marwan Baghrouti, Fatah-Tanzim leader, 2:08 p.m.

Q: “In connection with the national and Islamic forces declaring Friday and Saturday as ‘days of rage and marches,’ calling to use all means to fill the goals of the Palestinian society…we have with us Mr. Marwan Baghrouti, Secretary of the Fatah in the West Bank, and we asked him about this call…

A: First of all the national and Islamic forces in their communique call in a clear way for Fridays in the blessed month of Ramadan to be days for heading towards prayer in Jerusalem and days of destiny demonstrations, and the coming two days-Friday and Saturday-call for an increase in demonstrations, popular marches and various activities of the popular Intifada, an increase in the escalation and resistance of the people in all ways, especially as the thirteenth commemoration of the first glorious Intifada (i.e. December 1987) and on this occasion to reawaken the first intifada in our memory and to cause the first intifada and the Al Aqsa Intifada to be joined in our memory. And this means to go out to marches from the mosques from various villages and the camps after the prayers across the homeland and to heed the call to march on the road blocks of Jerusalem towards the Al Aqsa Mosque and to pray in front of the road blocks of the Israeli Occupation. That is what the national forces and the Islamic forces and the forces of Tanzim are calling for….we also call once again for refraining from firing from inhabited houses and populated neighborhoods in order to prevent casualties to residents from Israeli shelling.

Midday Headlines

  • Israeli military siege is clamped down harder throughout the homeland;
  • Occupation army strengthens its formations around the colonies;
  • His excellency President Yasser Arafat receives the American Consul General this morning and the European representative at this moment”


  • His Excellency President Yasser Arafat receives at his Gaza headquarters the European representative to the peace process, Miguel Moratinos;
  • Sheikh Muhammad al-Hussein says Occupation Authorities are turning Jerusalem into a military zone;
  • A call from the national and Islamic forces to come out in force for demonstrations-and this in an interview with Mr. Marwan Baghrouti;
  • A call for the use of all means to resist the economic and military siege on Palestinian lands…;
  • A message to Arab and international forces to put an end to the Israeli aggression…;
  • 65 girls in Qalqilya Primary School suffer Israeli gas attack;
  • President Yasser Arafat receives IMF representative Salam Fayad at his headquarters to discuss the difficult situation facing the homeland;
  • A Lebanese ministerial delegation visited Baghdad today by plane to discuss economic cooperation between the two countries.”

Quotes from interview with PA Parliamentary Affairs Minister Nabil ‘Amr

Q: In your opinion, why is Mr. Barak trying out all these new ideas (i.e. control of Jerusalem sites in exchange for deferral of refugee question)?

A: “There is no doubt that Mr. Ehud Barak needs, for internal reasons, to show himself as the man of peace…and regionally because of the extremely hostile stance to Israel..and he feels it internationally despite the actions of the United States and the Zionists…In addition he is trying to get the votes of the Arabs in Israel. He feels the need to be the man of peace….But we don’t know why he wants deferral (of the refugee question)…In order for there to be a just and lasting peace, all questions have to be settled….But it has to be said that any deferral means the continuation of the conflict (i.e. the Arab-Israeli Conflict) and not its solution.”