Summary and Analysis

VOP featured a fiery mosque speech from Sheikh Youssef Abu Sneina at the Al Aqsa Mosque. (see below) NOTE: This is the same Sheikh Abu Sneina who has been regularly featured on Palestinian State Television during Friday Prayers of Assembly and who, in one such PA-televised mosque speech on September 8, called for slaughtering Jews (Three weeks before Ariel Sharon’s controversial visit to Temple Mount/Haram area)

This time Sheikh Abu Sneina rejected any solution for Jerusalem outside of Islam: any settlement involving Israel or even international authorities in any way shape or form would be rejected, he said, in his mosque speech carried live on the Voice of Palestine.

What was most interesting in his speech was his placing of the problem of the Palestinian refugees AHEAD of the problem of Jerusalem.

Sheikh Abu-Sneina said that no Muslim could tolerate any foreign sovereignty anywhere in Jerusalem. Nor would any Muslim tolerate any compromise on the right of return (of Palestinian refugees).

VOP is reporting that the Palestinian Leadership is still considering American ideas and “opinions,” as VOP has taken the cue from Yasser Arafat (during comments to the press yesterday) that the American initiative not be called an “initiative” or even “proposals” but “ideas.”

Morning Headlines-9:00 a.m.

  • His Excellency President Yasser Arafat says that the Palestinian Leadership will continue to discuss the American opinions and ideas in pursuit of a final peace with Israel;
  • Occupation bulldozers took part in a wide-ranging operation of destruction last night in the lands of citizens in Kufr Aqaba;
  • Occupation authorities arrested our citizens in Sinjil after invading the town at dawn today;
  • Five citizens were wounded in operations by occupation troops and settlers in the villages near Nablus;
  • Occupation authorities have spread their siege on many areas in the wake of the eruption of the blessed intifada, in protest at the explosion that killed several from the Army of Occupation yesterday wounding 16

Afternoon Headlines-1 p.m. News Round-Up

  • “The Palestinian Leadership continues its review and discussion of American opinions and ideas on the peace process;
  • Occupation forces continue their siege of Palestinian lands;
  • American Foreign Ministry (i.e. Department of State) earmarks 80-million dollars in aid for Palestinian refugees in the Palestinian lands;
  • Sharon leads Barak in opinion polls for the upcoming election.”

Friday Mosque Address-‘Eid al-Fitr (Feast Ending Ramadan)

“O Ye, Muslims, know that Eid al-Fitr happily is come upon us and the Islamic Nation and our Islamic Palestinian people, which is striving and struggling with difficult circumstances who know that their own only salvation is with God.

Fighting Martyrs have not stopped competing among themselves to reach God, Blessings and Praise be heaped on His Exaltedness (i.e. suicide bombers vie with each other for the chance to become a martyr), and the wounded have reached the thousands, and before God and his mercy, our people are standing in their the heroic stance..

These are difficult days, stressful occurrences requiring deprivation in our efforts, as we operate in martyrdom and purposefulness.united, as one, cohesively against the American-Israeli conspiracy.

And remember, o Ye Muslims, that victory is assured to those who strive and believe.

O ye Muslims, regarding the city of Jerusalem, the capital of Islam and the Muslims.home of our Islamic study, land of the revelation and the mystic night journey, and the blessed Al Aqsa Mosque, symbol of our Islamic perseverance, symbol of the dialogue between infidels and believers, between Unity and Partnership (i.e. the differences in belief between pure monotheism as evinced in Islam and other beliefs holding more than one God or Trinity etc), between what is Islam and what is outside Islam, God knows what is taking place in His land.

Praise be on God that the heart of the Islamic people is with us, and they, wherever they may be, are standing shoulder to shoulder with the Muslim Palestinian people.

O Ye Muslims, no matter where Zionism moves its military bases or its State of Israel, or its neighborhoods and organizations, it has ailed in its efforts to Judaize the city of Jerusalem and to blur its Islamic character since it seized it in ’67-despite all its means, efforts and devices.

O ye Muslims, all these international commission decisions lead to requiring an international solution, to the internationalization of Jerusalem, to the internationalization of the holy city, and this with the dispatch of an international force of various nationalities to the Jerusalem of the Prince of the Faithful ‘Omar (i.e. the Islamic Caliph Omar from the seventh century, who conquered Jerusalem) and the Jerusalem of Sallah-al-Din (Salladin) Al-Ayyubi-and in all this there is a great danger from which we should beware. And we should call on all Arab leaders to reject this idea.

Our Jerusalem is not open for partition or dissection or sharing or having its ground-sanctified with pure culture and the blood of martyrs-defiled (with foreigners). God protect us: the internationalization of Jerusalem is nothing but occupation in another garb from the Israeli garb…All this is a degradation and diminishment of the Islamic quality of Beit al-Maqdas.

(Note: Beit al-Maqdas is the classical name for Jerusalem in Arabic, derived from the Hebrew term Beit ha-Miqdash, the Hebrew term for the Temple. The more modern term for Jerusalem in modern Arabic is al-Quds).

But of all the problems we discuss, the (most important is) the right of return for the Palestinian refugees. The problem of the Arab-Israeli conflict is not Jerusalem because Jerusalem represents the dialogue of conviction (between religious points of view), but the case of the return of the refugees is the central case..

And from this sacred pulpit, we say to the Islamic peoples that the case of the displaced and the refugees is the first priority, the most important case which causes the continuation of strife in the region in the Middle East as a whole..

And from here we say, too, to all our friends that Al Aqsa and all its grounds-what are underground and those above ground.east or west are Islamic by divine decree..

So let us say finally that Jerusalem can only exist under Islamic sovereignty, God, His Exaltedness, Willing.

And there will only be peace with the return of the refugees to their homes.”

NOTE: There was no disclaimer by VOP before or after broadcast, regarding the Palestinian Authority’s consent or agreement with the the Sheikh’s mosque speech, and the fact that he is often featured on VOP and the televised broadcasts of the PBC.