[SMA: Don’t forget, the media told us it was and still is a spontaneous action]
- An Engineered Tragedy Statistical Analysis of Casualties in the Palestinian – Israeli Conflict, September 2000 – September 2002. By the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism]
- What started the al-Aqsa intifada in September 2000?
Daily Star correspondent Daily Star of Beirut
A Palestinian Cabinet minister said on Friday that the five-month-old uprising against Israel had been planned since the Camp David peace talks failed in July, contradicting past contentions of a spontaneous outburst from Palestinians on the street.
Imad Faluji, the Palestinian National Authority&rsqs Communications Minister, said during a PLO rally in Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp outside of Sidon that it was a mistake to think that the intifada was sparked by Israeli Prime Minister-elect Ariel Sharon&rsqs controversial visit to Al-Aqsa mosque compound in late September.
It had been planned since Chairman Arafat&rsqs return from Camp David, when he turned the tables in the face of the former US president (Bill Clinton) and rejected the American conditions,“ Faluji said.
At the US presidential retreat of Camp David, Maryland, Clinton had pressed Arafat to make concessions, particularly on the return of Palestinian refugees, in response to outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak&rsqs willingness to surrender some Jerusalem neighborhoods to the Palestinians.
Barak&rsqs unprecedented step is widely viewed as contributing to Sharon&rsqs election victory.
Faluji&rsqs remarks contrast with previous Palestinian statements blaming Sharon&rsqs visit to the mosque compound for sparking a spontaneous uprising by Palestinians frustrated with the peace process. Israel has long contended the intifada, in which more than 400 people have been killed, was planned.
Faluji did not elaborate on the planning or who was involved.
He also said the PLO was reviving its military action“ groups to escalate the fighting against Israel and called for a meeting of Arab defense ministers to face up to Israeli aggression.
The PLO is going back to the 60s, 70s and 80s. The Fatah Hawks, the Kassam Brigades, the Red Eagle and all the military action groups are returning to work,“ he told a crowd of nearly 2,500 people who included local Palestinian faction leaders.
Faluji warned Israel that it would not enjoy a single night of calm“ if Palestinians continued to be killed at the hands of the Jewish state. He praised the stand adopted by Lebanon and Syria in backing the Palestine cause. What the Zionist entity faced in south Lebanon will be a picnic compared with what it will face when the Palestinian people become enraged,“ he said. The Palestinian resistance will strike in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and in every inch of Palestinian territory.
Palestinian vengeance will be harder and stronger than many expect we won’t let Israel enjoy a single night of calm as long Palestinian blood continues to flow. He argued that Palestinians were in Lebanon temporarily and it&rsqs not permissible to encroach on the right of refugees to return (to their homeland) in accordance with United Nations Resolution 194.“ with agencies