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    PALESTINIAN RESISTANCE TO THE ZIONIST PROJECT BY Nizar Sakhnini http://www.kanaanonline.org/articles/01187.pdf PROLOGUE: Palestinian resistance to the Zionist
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 4, 2007
      BY Nizar Sakhnini


      Palestinian resistance to the Zionist project started
      before the Basle Program and before the Balfour
      Declaration. The first signs of Palestinian
      resistance were a direct and spontaneous reaction to
      the efforts of the pioneer Zionist settlers to
      dispossess and displace the Arab fellahin, which were
      provocative and led to violent confrontations.

      The Muslim-Christian Association appeared in Jaffa and
      Jerusalem in 1918 as a result of the anti-Zionist
      awakening following the Balfour Declaration. It was
      composed of traditional representatives of the leading
      families and religious community and soon became a
      countrywide network with its headquarters in

      The Arab Executive was elected at the 3rd National
      Congress in Haifa in December 1920 to turn the
      Muslim-Christian Associations into a permanent body to
      defend the Palestinian cause. The Arab Executive led
      the Palestinian political movement until 1935 and was
      replaced by an Arab Higher Committee (AHC) that was
      formed in 1936.

      In September 1948, the AHC announced the establishment
      of an all-Palestine government in Gaza, which was
      later moved to Cairo and proved to be a complete
      failure. It was helpless and powerless reflecting the
      loss and the aimlessness of the Palestinians who did
      not know what to do.

      After a decade during which all hopes were dashed, a
      number of Palestinian movements advocating armed
      struggle to restore Palestinian rights began to

      Following the outbreak of the Intifada, a new
      Palestinian faction entered the struggle: HAMAS.
      Hamas was a militant Muslim movement. Members of the
      Muslim Brotherhood led by Sheikh Ahmad Yassin founded
      it in 1987. It advocated a Holy War and called for an
      Islamic state in Palestine. Hamas did not join the

      In January 1964, Egypt proposed an independent
      Palestinian entity: the Palestine Liberation
      Organization (PLO) led by Ahmad al Shukairy. Shukairy
      held a meeting in Jerusalem on May 1964, which was
      attended by 422 Palestinian national figures. The
      meeting laid down the structure of the Palestine
      National Council (PNC), the PLO Executive Committee,
      the National Fund and the Palestine Liberation Army
      (PLA) as well as approving a Palestinian National
      Covenant and Basic Law.

      On 24 December 1967, Shukairy resigned as chairman of
      the PLO and FATAH took over. Yasser Arafat became the

      The growing influence of the Palestinian factions in
      Amman represented a threat to King Hussein and led to
      a bloody operation by the Jordanian army against the
      Palestinians in September 1970 (Black September). As
      a result, the Palestinian factions were expelled from
      Jordan and moved to Lebanon.

      The PLO was recognized by the U.N. General Assembly on
      14 October 1974 and gained the status of observership.

      On 23 October 1974, the Arab Summit meeting, held in
      Rabat, Morocco, declared the PLO as the sole
      legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.

      The PLO and all the Palestinian factions were finally
      forced out of Lebanon as a result of the Israeli
      invasion in 1982 and moved to Tunis.

      In November 1988, the PNC formally ratified a
      two-state settlement of the conflict. In December
      1988, the PLO announced in Geneva its recognition of
      Israel's right to exist and its renunciation of
      `terrorism'. This was the start for a path that led
      to Oslo.


      1967: The Popular Front for the Liberation of
      Palestine (PFLP) was founded.

      1968, March: Israel attacked the village of Karama on
      the East Bank of the Jordan and faced a heroic stand,
      which gave the PLO a boost and increased its

      1968, July: The Palestinian National Charter was
      adopted by the Palestine National Council held during
      the period 1-17 July 1968. Article 1 of the Charter
      stated, "Palestine is the homeland of the Arab
      Palestinian people; it is an indivisible part of the
      Arab homeland, and the Palestinian people are an
      integral part of the Arab nation". Article 2 stated,
      "Palestine, with the boundaries it had during the
      British Mandate, is an indivisible territorial unit".
      Article 9 of the Charter stated, "Armed struggle is
      the only way to liberate Palestine. This is the
      overall strategy, not merely a tactical phase…"

      1969: The Democratic Front for the Liberation of
      Palestine (DFLP) was founded.

      1970, 17 September: The PLO was expelled from Jordan
      and moved to Lebanon.

      1973, January: The PNC opposed "proposals for entities
      and for the establishment of a Palestinian state in
      part of the territory of Palestine and to resist these
      proposals through armed struggle and through mass
      political conflict linked with it".

      1973, August: A Palestinian National Front (PNF) was
      formed by numerous West Bank Palestinian groups and
      representatives of trades unions, professional
      associations, student councils, women's organizations,
      merchants' associations and Islamic religious

      On 13 August they announced that the Front was formed
      "in response to a call from the PNC" and that the PNF
      was "an integral part of the Palestine national
      movement as represented by the PLO".

      1974, 8 June: The 12th PNC adopted a ten-point
      programme advocating the establishment of a
      Palestinian national and independent authority on
      every part of Palestinian land that is liberated.

      This marked the beginning of amendments to the
      Palestinian National Charter that was approved by the
      Palestine National Council in July1968.

      1974, 13 November: Arafat addressed the UN General
      Assembly offering [Israel] a "branch of an olive tree"
      in one hand and a "gun" in the other and expressed his
      hope that the olive branch will not be dropped.

      1977, March 12 – 22: The 13th PNC Congress decided to
      open dialogue and co-operation with liberal
      non-Zionist Jewish groups.

      1979, March 26: A Peace Treaty was signed between
      Egypt and Israel.

      1982: Fathi Shakaki split from Sheikh Ahmad Yassin's
      Muslim Brethren to form Islamic Jihad.

      1982, 14 August: Special U.S. envoy Philip Habib
      concluded an agreement for safe departure of PLO
      fighters from Beirut. On 28 August, Yassir Arafat and
      the Palestinian fighters left Beirut.

      1983, February: The PNC made a decision to start
      official contacts with the Israelis.

      1985, 11 February: An accord was signed between Jordan
      and the PLO to accommodate Reagan's peace initiative.
      Arafat agreed with Hussein to "March together toward a
      just, peaceful settlement of the Middle East issue
      based on: land in exchange for peace, all UN
      resolutions on the conflict, the Palestinian right to
      self-determination and a solution to the refugee
      problem in accordance with UN resolutions. It was
      envisaged that the PLO would be represented within a
      joint Jordanian-Palestinian delegation and that if the
      negotiations were successful, a Palestinian-Jordanian
      confederation would emerge". This intensified the
      schisms within the PLO, leading to the distancing of
      the PFLP, DFLP, and other factions from Arafat's

      1986, 6 November: A meeting was held in Romania
      between PLO representatives and the Israeli Peace Now
      Movement. Other meetings were held in Hungary on 12
      June 1987 and in Toledo, Spain on 5 July 1989.

      1987, 8 December: An Israeli truck ploughed a car in
      Gaza killing four Palestinians. The following day,
      Gaza exploded in angry anti-Israeli demonstrations and
      riots. These riots marked the beginning of what came
      to be known as the "Intifada". For many months
      afterwards Palestinian stone-throwing youths set an
      agenda of disorder throughout the OPT. Young
      Palestinians, frustrated and angry with the prospect
      of indefinite Israeli rule, defied the military
      firepower arrayed against them.

      In East Jerusalem, the "Intifada" scored a major
      success by breaking the image of Israel's capital as a
      united city. Strikes and the introduction of a curfew
      in East Jerusalem destroyed the illusion of
      Arab-Jewish coexistence in the city.

      1988, 22 August: The first, of three secret meetings,
      was held between Israeli and Palestinian
      representatives in Paris. The other two meetings were
      held in September 1988. The meetings aimed at
      arriving at "an agreement between the PLO and the
      Labor Party leadership regarding an end to the
      Intifada before the general elections in Israel in

      1988, 15 November: The 19th PNC adopted a resolution
      specifically recognizing UN Security Council
      resolution # 242, and all other UN resolutions on
      Palestine. Yassir Arafat read out the Declaration of
      Independence to the PNC and announced the creation of
      the state of Palestine "with its capital in the holy

      1988, 26 December: Arafat implied that he would accept
      a Palestinian state limited to the occupied
      territories and that "many compromises were

      1991, 30 October: The `Middle East Peace Conference'
      convened in Madrid under the auspices of the U.S. and
      the USSR for peace talks to resolve the Israeli-Arab
      conflict. Israeli PM Shamir, later declared that he
      wanted the negotiations in Washington (following the
      Madrid conference) to continue for 10 years, if need
      be, so that he had enough time to keep on going with
      planned Israeli settlement in the Occupied Palestinian
      Territories (OPT) and leave nothing for the
      negotiations to talk about.

      1993, 20 January: While the negotiations in Washington
      were going on between the Israelis and a Palestinian
      team lead by Faisal Husseini and Hanan Ashrawi,
      another round of secret negotiations with the Israelis
      were taking place in Oslo. The negotiations in Oslo
      were conducted by Ahmad Kure'i and Hassan Asfour under
      the supervision of Mahmoud Abbas. These negotiations
      in Oslo came as a surprise to everyone.

      1993, 9 September: Arafat addressed a letter to Rabin
      recognizing the right of Israel to exist in peace and
      security, accepting UN Security Council resolutions
      242 & 338, and renouncing acts of violence. In
      response, Rabin signed a letter to Arafat recognizing
      the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian

      1993, 13 September: A Declaration of Principles was
      signed between Israel and the PLO at the White House
      in Washington.

      1994, 4 May: Arafat and Rabin signed the Gaza-Jericho
      self-rule accord.

      1994, 12 July: Arafat returned to Gaza crossing the
      Rafah border by car.

      1994, 25 July: Jordan and Israel signed a Declaration
      of Principles ending state of war, which was followed
      by a Peace Treaty that was signed on 26 October 1994.

      1994, 1 September: Morocco and Tunisia opened liaison
      offices in Tel Aviv.

      1994, 30 September: Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) -
      Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and
      Bahrain - officially ended economic boycott of Israel.

      1995, 28 September: Interim Agreement (Oslo II) on the
      2nd stage of Palestinian autonomy was concluded by
      Israel and the PLO in Washington.

      1996, January: The Palestinian Legislative Council in
      occupied Palestine was elected.

      1996: IDF redeployed in the West Bank, including
      withdrawal from 6 West Bank cities.

      1996, 24 April: The PNC voted to amend the
      Palestinian National Charter of 1968 according to the
      commitment made by Arafat in his letter of 9 September
      1993 to Rabin.

      1996, 5 May: Opening sessions for final status talks
      were held between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and
      Israel. The talks were never resumed following the
      election of Benjamin Netanyahu later in the month.

      Uri Savir, the director general of the Israeli foreign
      ministry, omitted any reference to the Refugees
      Problem in his remarks during the session. Moreover,
      the press reported that the leading Palestinian
      representative at the meeting, Mahmud Abbas, refrained
      from mentioning the refugees in his speech, as
      requested by Israel.

      1996, 8 July: Richard Perle delivered a document, `A
      Clean Break', to the Israeli PM, Benjamin Netanyahu
      abrogating the Oslo Accords and overturning the entire
      concept of `comprehensive land for peace', in favor of
      a jackboot policy of raw military conquest and
      occupation. The document attacked the peace process
      and the entire Arab world and became the guiding
      strategic doctrine of the U.S. and Israel.

      1997, 27 October: Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu told
      the Knesset that he would not allow the creation of a
      Palestinian state and he would build more Jewish

      1999, 27 November: A group of twenty Palestinians
      figures issued a manifesto under the title `The
      Homeland Calls Us'. For the first time since the
      signing of the Oslo Accords, the Palestinian Authority
      (PA) and its president were publicly accused of
      corruption, humiliation, abuse and of selling the

      1998, 14 December: Leading Palestinians, meeting in
      the presence of President Clinton, reaffirmed the
      nullification of clauses in the PLO charter calling
      for Israel's destruction.

      Aviv Bushinsky, a spokesman for Israeli leader
      Benjamin Netanyahu, told Reuters that Netanyahu, who
      has frozen the further handover of West Bank land,
      would continue to insist Palestinians meet other
      Israeli demands. Before the session, however,
      Netanyahu put the Palestinians on notice that the Wye
      River would not move ahead until other Israeli
      conditions, including a pledge not to declare a
      Palestinian state next year, were met.

      2000, 28 September: Ariel Sharon and six other Likud
      leaders made a provocative visit to the Al-Aqsa
      Compound. The visit sparked clashes with angry
      Palestinians, which developed into an overall second

      2001, August 10: In an unprecedented step, the Israeli
      occupation forces raided the Orient House, the
      headquarters of the Palestinian team to the Peace
      talks, and the seat of the multilateral talks. At
      around 1:30 am, large numbers of Israeli forces
      besieged the area of the Orient House and broke into
      the premises of the headquarters. The Palestinian flag
      was pulled down and the Israeli flag was hoisted in
      its place. All files related to the negotiations,
      along with other classified documents were also
      confiscated. Other Palestinian institutions linked to
      the Orient House were also closed.

      2002, March 28: The Arab League summit held in Beirut
      promised Israel peace, security and normal relations
      in return for a full withdrawal from Arab lands
      occupied since 1976, the establishment of a
      Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital
      and a `fair solution' for the Palestinian refugees.
      In response, Israel launched Operation Defensive
      Shield on the following day against the Palestinians
      in the West Bank.

      2002, June/July: Israel launched Operation Determined
      Path to reoccupy the West Bank areas handed to the PA
      following the Oslo accords.


      Oslo provided Israel with a tool to strangulate
      Palestinian resistance and left the Zionists free to
      steel more Palestinian lands and push Palestinian
      Arabs into oblivion. What's more painful and shameful
      is to see the Palestinian factions fight each other
      instead of fighting against the Zionist invaders of
      the country.

      SOURCES OF INFORMATION: In addition to personal follow
      up of events related with Palestine and the
      Zionist-Arab conflict all along, the following sources
      were used in compiling the above chronology:

      Abbas, Mahmoud, The Road to Oslo, Printed Material Co.
      for Publication and Distribution: Beirut, 1994, 2nd
      Edition, (Arabic)

      Antonius, George, The Arab Awakening: The Story of the
      Arab National Movement. J. B. Lippincott Company:
      Philadelphia, New York, Toronto, 1939

      Ha'aretz: Secret passage to Oslo, 12 February 1999

      Haikal, Mohammad Hassanine, Secret Negotiations
      between the Arabs and Israel, Cairo, 1996, (Arabic)

      Journal of Palestine Studies, Volumes: XVII No. 3,
      Spring 1998 – XXXVI No. 2, Winter 2007

      Palumbo, Michael, Imperial Israel: The History of the
      Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. London:
      Bloomsbury Publishing Ltd., 1990

      McDowall, David, Palestine and Israel: The uprising
      and Beyond. Berkeley, Los Angeles: University of
      California Press, 1989

      Zureik, Elia, The Palestinian Refugees: Background,



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