Asharq al-Awsat- PLO Executive Committee member Yasir Abd-Rabbuh has stated that the present Israeli leadership "does not believe in solving the Palestinian-Israeli crisis through negotiations with the Palestinian leadership" and that the "presence of the armed Palestinian militias is the best thing for the completion of the Israeli plan."
The former minister and sponsor of the "Geneva agreement" called for establishing an "enlarged Palestinian national council" and a "higher committee" to rectify the deteriorating situations in the region, especially after the recent escalation in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, and Israel”s continuation of the policy of assassinations, raids, and arrests.
The interview with Asharq al-Awsat in Madrid began with Abd-Rabbuh commenting on the assassination of Majid Natat, one of the cadres of Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, the military wing of the Fatah Movement; Shadi Muhanna, a leader in Al-Quds Brigade, the military wing of Islamic Jihad; six other Palestinians; and the wave of arrests in Jenin and Tulkarm. He said the Israeli leadership does not believe in a solution with the Palestinian leadership "and we have continuously said that the pullout from Gaza should be viewed from both sides."
Abd-Rabbuh stressed that this pullout aimed at turning Gaza into a "permanent target for Israeli aggressiveness" so that any action against the Israeli occupation, even if it originates in other areas, would be considered as aggression from the "Gaza state" against the state of Israel. He added, "We made enough mistakes so that Sharon could use them very efficiently to cover up the crime of the wall, the settlements, and the isolation of Jerusalem." Above all, he was also able "to win international cover, especially from the Americans, for continuing his occupation of the West Bank and destroying it whilst we celebrate, stage military parades, paint palaces in the air, and fight for shares in power as if we have gained complete independence."
The Palestinian official continued, "The presence of the armed militias is the best cover for the Israeli plan to be completed." He pointed out that Sharon”s intention is to depict Gaza "as the pit of international terrorism." Furthermore, he is seeking to direct the world”s attention to this and away from his actions in the West Bank "until the solution is drawn in full and that which he continues to implement on the ground so as to establish a state of separate regions of the West Bank and Gaza." He added that Sharon would continuously resort to acts of constant military tension and use the "Palestinian chaos" as much as possible because one of his aims is to push the Palestinian situation towards complete disintegration.
Abd-Rabbuh believes that Sharon will disrupt the legislative elections and says, "The situation now requires a bigger step than just sitting and waiting for the upcoming elections in order to determine the shares between Fatah and HAMAS. We need a national salvation plan; therefore, I believe that there should be a national conference, probably in the form of an enlarged national council. This should not be a meeting of factions like in the past so that we can answer major questions concerning the national fate, and especially concerning our ability to continue or not continue with the same political methods and this self-induced suicide through the free services that we are rendering to Sharon”s plan."
He reiterated that the time has come for taking decisive decisions and to put a stop to the help given to Sharon and his government, adding that there should be a higher committee that includes HAMAS, which formulates approaches binding on all. The fate is bleaker than what everyone thinks and what the Arab media depicts as our constant tragedy."