Arafat, days before the Intifada: It will be easy to get Palestinians to wage battle for Al-Aqsa
Al-Ayyam - Sept. 30, 2001

 Selection from the book by Mamdouh Nawfal, quoted in Palestinian daily Al-Ayyam:
     "Yasser Arafat summoned the Palestinian leadership for an emergency meeting in Ramallah the day before the visit [by Ariel Sharon to the Temple Mount] on Aug. 28, 2000 and said: ‘… The battle for Jerusalem began with the Camp David summit, and Sharon’s [planned] visit has brought it to here. Jerusalem is in danger, and the Al-Aqsa Mosque is in danger, and as Allah is my witness, I make this known.’ [Arafat] spoke with the knowledge that Jerusalem is a special place for the Palestinian nation for the Arab people and Islam, and with full conviction that it would be easy to involve the Palestinian and Arab street and to motivate them to participate in a battle of defense for Jerusalem and the holy places. He was certain that the masses of believers would hurry to the defense of Al-Aqsa… In its statement, the leadership called upon the Palestinian people everywhere to join forces and to unite in the battle in defense of Jerusalem… [Arafat] noted that the Palestinians were capable of defending the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the places holy to Arabs and to Christians and Muslims, and that no-one can escape his destiny. He said, ‘Our destiny is to finish one battle only to enter the next’, and quoted the hadith that the people in Jerusalem and around Jerusalem conduct Ribat (i.e., religious war/conflict in defense of Islamic land) there until the Day of Judgment. Arafat waxed eloquent on the special status of Jerusalem among Palestinians and among all the peoples of Arabia and Islam, and was certain that it would be possible to enlist with ease the Palestinian and Arab street to take part in the battle in defense of Jerusalem and of the places holy to Islam and to Christianity, and especially Al-Aqsa Mosque. He said, ‘The believers will hurry to the defense of Al-Aqsa.’”
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