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|Q:||Is it possible that the Palestinians will return to the armed struggle?|
|Arafat:||Anything is possible.|
|Q:||Including the armed struggle?|
|Arafat:||It is not possible to foresee what will happen to the entire region, not just in Palestine. The entire region is in danger and on the verge of complete chaos, as a result of violations of the peace agreement by Israel.|
|Q:||In your opinion, is Hamas a terrorist organization?|
|Arafat:||The Hamas movement is one of many patriotic movements.|
|Q:||Even its military wing?|
|Arafat:||Even its military wing. One should not forget that the movement took an active part in the intifada.|
--- Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Yasser Arafat in an interview with a Russian newspaper. Hamas has committed terrorist attacks in which scores of Israeli civilians have been killed. (Novoya Vremya, 25 May 1997)
"The presence of Hamas on Palestinian territory is very important for building the Palestinian homeland."
--- Muhammad Dahlan, head of Arafat's Preventive Security Service in Gaza, in an interview with the Hamas newspaper Al-Risallah (cited in Ha'aretz, 15 June 1997)
"Israel is distributing food containing cancer-causing material and hormones that harm male virility and other spoiled food products in the Palestinian Authority's territories, in order to poison and harm the Palestinian population. We absolutely feel it is an organized plot and conspiracy under the auspices of the Israel Defense Forces -- this is a planned and initiated war against the Palestinian people."
--- PA Deputy Minister of Supplies Abdel Hamid al-Qudsi in a newspaper interview (Yediot Aharonot, 25 June 1997)
"There is a plan which was prepared by the Palestinian leadership with the aim of confronting Israel's intransigence. The Palestinian people is ready for a confrontation and is prepared to make additional sacrifices -- the people are in a state of preparedness."
--- Abbas Zaki, a Palestinian Authority legislator and member of the central committee of Fatah, Arafat's mainstream faction of the PLO. (Al-Sharq al-Awsat, 16 June 1997)
"If a solution is not found to the situation and the political process is not returned to its course, there will be severe clashes between us and the Israelis. All options are open before us."
--- Jibril Rajoub, Arafat's security chief for the West Bank, in a television interview (Middle East Broadcasting Corp., 20 June 1997)
This is the forty-fifth in a series of quote sheets prepared by
IRIS (Information Regarding Israel's Security)