[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 11 November, 2004, 17:04 GMT
Arafat: Words of war and peace
Yasser Arafat
Arafat, during a 1974 address to the United Nations
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has died at the age of 75.

Over the last four decades he came to symbolise the struggle for a Palestinian state.

Below are some of his famous quotes.

Zionism is an embodiment of neo-Nazism... intellectual terrorism and racial exploitation.


Our new generation is tired of waiting for something to happen. Isn't it better to die bringing down your enemy than to await a slow, miserable death rotting in a tent in the desert?


The end of Israel is the goal of our struggle, and it allows for neither compromise nor mediation... We don't want peace. We want war, victory.


I have come bearing an olive branch and a freedom fighter's gun. Do not let the olive branch fall from my hands.

November 1974 address to the UN General Assembly

By God, I have not found it invincible... I wish all my nation was with me to see the feebleness of this army.

1983 - Comment on the Israeli army after its invasion the previous year forced the Palestine Liberation Organisation to flee Beirut

The Palestine National Council, in the name of God, and in the name of the Palestinian Arab people, proclaims the establishment of the state of Palestine on our Palestinian land, with Jerusalem as its capital.

15 November 1988

[We accept] the right of all parties concerned with the Middle East conflict to exist in peace and security, including - as I said - the state of Palestine, Israel and other neighbours in accordance with [UN] Resolutions 242 and 338...

We totally and categorically reject all forms of terrorism, including individual, group and state terrorism

December 1988 special UN session in Geneva

We are not asking for the moon.

1991 - On pressing Israel to agree to exchange occupied land for peace

I'm well and thanks to all.

1992 - After surviving a plane crash in the Libyan desert

Our people do not consider that exercising the right to self-determination could violate the right of their neighbours or infringe on their security.

Rather, putting an end to their feelings of being wronged and of having suffered an historic injustice is the strongest guarantee to achieve coexistence and openness between our two peoples and future generations.

Our two peoples are awaiting today this historic hope, and they want to give peace a real chance.

1993 - At the White House signing of interim peace accords with Israel

I am very happy. My heart was overwhelmed by longing to see the homeland.

1994 - On an historic homecoming to Gaza

I am very sad and very shocked for this awful and terrible crime against one of the brave leaders of Israel and the peacemakers.

1995 - On the assassination of Israeli PM Yitzhak Rabin

We are confronting terror and we will confront terror and uproot it from our land because our dream of freedom, independence and self-determination could not prosper and be fulfilled amid a sea of tears and blood, but with thorough work to confront the terror of these extremist and dangerous wings from Hamas and [Islamic] Jihad.

1996 - On suicide bombings in Israel by Muslim militants

The Israeli people have voted against peace. They want peace with Jordanians, they want peace with Egyptians, but they don't want peace with Palestinians.

1996 - After the election of right-wing Benjamin Netanyahu as Israeli PM

With Rabin, I started the peace of the brave and many things were going smoothly, according to what had been agreed upon.

But this [Netanyahu's] government, until now, is not respecting the implementation of what has been signed.


No doubt, sooner or later, we'll have our independent Palestinian state. This has been mentioned by President Bush, after his meeting with [Israeli Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon. This has been repeated by the European Union. It has declared their insistence on a Palestinian independent state.

February 2002 interview with the BBC

I am a Palestinian soldier... I will use my gun to defend not only myself but also defend every Palestinian child, woman and man and to defend the Palestinian existence.

2003 - On the possibility of dying under Israeli siege in Ramallah

God willing, I will come back.

2004 - On being airlifted in stretcher to France for urgent medical care after two and a half years of confinement to West Bank headquarters by the Israeli army.

World reaction to Arafat's death

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific