Back to PLO Bulletin 15-31 January 1982



In a report published in the Haifa newspaper al-Ittihad on January 12, the Rakah Politburo disclosed that Begin's government wishes to exploit the remaining months preceding the complete withdrawal from Sinai to embark on new military and political strategies.

The report said that the annexation of the Golan Heights was a provocative measure aimed at intensifying regional tensions. It referred to the declarations of the Israeli Chief of Staff who said early in January that any future war should be the last one.

Rakah interpreted these declarations as implying the liquidation of the Palestinian and Lebanese peoples and the occupation of Lebanon.

While preparations for war continue, the traitor Saad Haddad is increasing his provocative actions in south Lebanon in order to give Israel a pretext to launch a new war, the report said.

Rakah said that the purpose of this war would be to exterminate the Palestinian Arab people, partition Lebanon, and annex part of it to Israel.

"The Likud government also hopes", Rakah added, "that as a result of this war they can annex the occupied Palestinian West Bank and Gaza Strip. Consequently, the rights of the Palestinian people would be lost and the American schemes to establish strategic military alliances in the area to combat national liberation movements in the Middle East, the Arabian Gulf, and Africa would be realised."

The Politburo warned that such adventurism would have disastrous results for the people of the region, and would pose a grave threat to world peace.


On January 25, the Palestinian mayors of Nablus and Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, Bassam Shaka'a and Karim Khalaf, issued important statements answering some recent calls for an unconditional recognition of Israel as it exists at present, by the PLO. The two mayors, democratically elected and expressing the stand of their people in the occupied territories, are constantly harrassed by the military occupation, and in June 1980 became the targets of Israeli bomb attacks on their lives, in which Bassam Shaka'a lost both his legs.

Now, the Mayor of Nablus has again made it clear: "It is Israel which must recognise the PLO as the representative of all the Palestinians. The danger that Israel may take our land does not justify such a declaration - of unilateral recognition of Israel - for it is our struggle alone which will reverse the aggressive policy of Israel."

Karim Khalaf, the Ramallah Mayor, seconded this by asking: "Who are they that refuse to recognise the rights of the Palestinians and their leadership? Who occupies the territory of the Palestinians, confiscates their land and usurps their homeland? Ought we to recognise the thief and the usurper? " - He added that it was for Israel to recognise the Palestinians and their leadership.


The Israeli Communist Party daily al-Ittihad recently published a report on the survey of the situation inside Israeli prisons in which Palestinian political prisoners are held and tortured. The paper said that there was a growing concern about the conditions of the Palestinians in the prisons of Nafha, Bir al-Sabe and Asqalan. The prisoners in Nafha, for example, announced a hunger strike on January 17, 1982, but nothing has emerged about the progress of the strike, due to the repressive Israeli security.

Al-Ittihad said that the progressive Israeli lawyer Lea Tsemel had been refused permission to meet with prisoners in Nafha, and was told that she did not have previous permission. However, such meetings do not normally require permits.

In Asqalan prison, Palestinians have not been allowed to meet their relatives as a punishment for their strike which took place around one month ago. The hunger strike was in protest at their intolerable living conditions. Nothing is known about the present condition of the prisoners. According to prisoners' relatives, there was recently an increase in torture and oppression of prisoners by the prison authorities, which explains the tight security now being imposed.


The right of the Arab states and peoples to effective and permanent sovereignty and control over their natural and other resources has been reaffirmed once again in a resolution which was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly's Second Committee on November 9. The actions being undertaken by Israel with a view to exploiting manpower, natural resources and Arab lands are described in the document as illegal. The resolution contains the demand that Israel should immediately put an end to such activities. The resolution denounces the refusal of the Tel Aviv authorities to grant a possibility for international experts to visit the occupied lands.

105 delegations voted for the resolution, while two delegations were against - the United States and Israel.

Meanwhile, the Special Political Committee of the 36th U.N. General Assembly condemned by an overwhelming majority Israel's plan to build a canal through occupied Arab territories. The canal, joining the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea, is to run through the Gaza Strip.

In a resolution, the Committee urges Israel to stop work on the canal and calls on the Security Council to take measures against the project. It appeals to all states neither directly nor indirectly to help prepare or realize Israel's objective.


On January 13, Tulkarem Mayor Hilmi Hannoun received the British Consul in Jerusalem at his municipality office. They discussed regional issues and particularly the situation in the West Bank in view of the heightening Israeli repression of the Palestinian people there, and suspect activities such as the formation of the quisling 'village leagues'.

In response to the Consul's questions Hannoun explained that the Israeli authorities are using every means at their disposal to establish these leagues in order to consecrate the occupation through finding a substitute for the Palestinian patriotic forces in the West Bank. This substitute leadership is supposed to participate in the autonomy conspiracy, Hannoun added.

The Mayor also confirmed that the Palestinian people must be granted the right to self-determination.

Hannoun then related the sorry events which recently took place at al-Najah University in Nablus, explaining to the British Consul that these events are totally opposed by all Palestinian citizens and are harmful to the national interest.


In mid-January the 'Green Patrols', affiliated to the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture, and an Israeli border guards force evicted three Palestinian families from the village of Arab al-Hujeirat in Galilee and seized their livestock. They claimed that the land inhabited by the families belongs to the Israeli land department.

The Green Patrols, formed by Ariel Sharon when he held the Agriculture portfolio, have in the past few months transferred their operations to Galilee. They began a large-scale campaign against the Bedouin tribes which included seizure of their livestock.


Progressive Israeli attorney Felicia Langer presented a petition to the Israeli Supreme Court on January 6, asking it to issue an injunction against the Military Governor of the Tulkarem area for providing protection to armed settlers who have been uprooting olive trees belonging to the Qalqilya municipality.

Ms. Langer said that the settlers had cut down the trees under the protection of Israeli border guards. The settlers intend to establish a de facto colony on the site of the Palestinian olive grove.


The head of the Israeli prison authorities, Ford Hymer, recently admitted that the majority of Israeli jails are over-crowded, extremely humid and unhealthy.

Hymer cited the Damoun prison, on Mount Carmel, as an example. The prison was originally a tobacco warehouse which the occupation authorities used as a prison without making any alterations or modifications. The number of prisoners in Damoun, he said, reaches 400, with more than ten of them in each cell. Many of the prisoners sleep on the floor for lack of bedding.

Hymer also mentioned that the number of Palestinian detainees, including commandos, is now around 2,800, about 45% of the total number of prisoners in Israeli jails, which is 6,000. He said that the Palestinian detainees always demand to continue their studies while in prison, contrary to the common criminals.

Hymer added that the occupation authorities plan to establish new prisons in the next two years, which would absorb around 1,250 more prisoners. He finally admitted the failure of the occupation authorities to force the Palestinian detainees to do any work inside the jail, which they consider would support the Israeli economy.

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