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EDITIONS
Saturday, 26 May, 2001, 21:43 GMT 22:43 UK
Arafat speech to Muslim ministers
Yasser Arafat with Arab League's Amr Musa
Yasser Arafat at Doha meeting
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat told an emergency meeting of foreign ministers of the Organization of the Islamic Conference that Israel was trying to eradicate the Palestinian population while the international community stood by mutely.

Speaking on Saturday in Doha, Qatar, he said Palestinians would remain steadfast in pursuit of an independent homeland with Jerusalem as its capital. The following are excerpts from his speech, as broadcast live on Qatari television.

"The Israelis... are committing barbaric massacres against our unarmed people using rockets and bombs that F-16 and Apache military fighters dropped.

"They are also using tanks, artillery, and internationally-prohibited missiles, including depleted uranium, poisonous gas, and radioactive material against our Palestinian people, institutions, installations, residential areas, farms, and factories...

They want to wipe out our existence on our land

Yasser Arafat on Israel

"It is an aggressive war that seeks to wipe out our presence in our homeland, the only homeland we have.

"They want to wipe out our existence on our land, the land from which Prophet Muhammad, May God's peace and blessings be upon Him, ascended to Heaven and the cradle of Jesus Christ, May God's peace be upon Him. They try with all means to obliterate and destroy our holy places and to Judaize our Jerusalem. ...

World community "supports Israel"

"Frankly speaking, I say that the Israeli aggressors get full protection. Yes, they get full protection and full support for their aggression from the forces that hold sway in the international community...
Israeli soldier at Netzarim Junction
Israel eyes Palestinians

"The Israeli Army is taking its military escalation too far while Israel thinks that using force, tyranny, and the most modern and most fatal weapons of killing and destruction it can bring our people to kneel down and that it can Judaize their holy Jerusalem and crush down our people's right to independence and sovereignty and a dignified and free life in their homeland.

For just peace

"We are with just, full, and comprehensive peace in our region and on all the Arab tracks.

"We support the peace of the brave for our children and theirs. In light of these circumstances, this serious military escalation, and the current situation we do not see anything better than the Egyptian-Jordanian initiative, and the Mitchell Commission recommendations, specifically its recommendation to definitively and completely freeze settlement activities.

"We had agreed to freeze settlement activity but Israel continued to expand settlements after the Oslo accord with our late partner Rabin, who was assassinated by an extremist Zionist force that does not seek peace or an agreement...

'UN offers Israel cover'

"By failing to pass a resolution dispatching UN troops or inspectors to provide international protection for our people against this comprehensive Israeli aggression on our country, people, and holy sites, the Security Council has offered Israel protection and a cover...

We support the peace of the brave for our children and theirs

Yasser Arafat

"Israel is forgetting the fact that our people are a people of exceeding strength who will not surrender and will not weaken.

"They will continue to be steadfast and to make sacrifices until one of our boy scouts of girl scouts raises the flag of Palestine on behalf of our nation on the walls, minarets, and churches of Jerusalem...

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.


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26 May 01 | Middle East
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