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The following recent quotations from leading figures in the Palestinian Authority were distributed by the Israel Government Press Office. Israel's agreements with the Palestinians obligate both sides "to foster mutual understanding and tolerance and shall accordingly abstain from incitement, including hostile propaganda, against each other."
"Question: Do you feel sometimes that you made a mistake in agreeing to Oslo?
Arafat: No... no. Allah's messenger Mohammad accepted the al-Khudaibiya peace treaty and Salah a-Din accepted the peace agreement with Richard the Lion-Hearted."
--- Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat in a newspaper interview. Historical background: Muhammad made the Khudaibiya agreement with the Arabian tribe of Koreish. That ten-year pact was broken within two years, when the Islamic forces, having strengthened during the cease-fire, conquered the Koreish. Salah a-Din was a Muslim leader who, after a cease-fire, declared a jihad against the Crusaders and captured Jerusalem. (Al-Quds, 10 May 1998)
"The Palestinian people were and remain a victim of the international colonialist Zionist plot which began with the Balfour Declaration of 1917. Israel has not halted its implementation of the racist Zionist colonialist policies which are responsible for the calamities that have befallen our people."
--- From an official statement by the Palestinian Legislative Council on 12 May 1998 to mark fifty years since "the 1948 calamity" -- that is, the establishment of Israel. (Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda, 13 May 1998)
"Whoever has occupied part of Palestine or Jerusalem faces jihad [holy war] until Judgment Day. Our destiny is jihad."
--- Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, in the weekly Friday prayer sermon at Jerusalem's Al-Aksa Mosque, broadcast on the official PA radio station. (Voice of Palestine, 15 May 1998)
"Our choice is the military option. We must put an end to the despicable negotiations. The time has come for jihad [holy war] and martyrdom."
--- Shiekh Hamed Bitawi, chairman of the Palestine Religious Scholars Association and head of the PA's Sharia Court of Appeals in Nablus. (Al-Jazira Television, 14 May 1998)
"Peace is a strategic choice, but it is not a sacred choice if the occupation and the Judaization continue."
--- Announcer on the official PA radio station (Voice of Palestine, 15 May 1998)
This is the forty-eighth in a series of quote sheets prepared by
IRIS (Information Regarding Israel's Security)