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PA official calls for "intifada" against settlements (JERUSALEM POST) By KHALED ABU TOAMEH 08/07/03) Source: http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/A/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1060230922222
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Salah Ta´mari, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council from Bethlehem, has urged Palestinians to wage a new intifada against Israel´s policy of settlements, which he described as a cancer.
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Ta´mari, who heads a special committee established by the Palestinian Authority with the declared aim of confronting settlement building, said it would be impossible for the Palestinians to establish their state in the future in light of the ongoing settlement activities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
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"Settlements are the most dangerous phenomenon facing the Palestinian people at this stage," he said. "What we need is to start a comprehensive national intifada against the settlements in order to confront the Israeli plans. How can we talk about a Palestinian state when there is no land left?"
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Ta´mari, who is also one of the senior Fatah leaders and a close confidant of Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat, said the Palestinian Authority has failed in combating the "settlement cancer" by failing to appoint a minister in the new cabinet to deal with this issue.
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"This failure started back in the Oslo Accords, which didn´t make any reference to the problem of the settlements," he explained. He also blamed the Palestinian Legislative Council for not setting up enough committees to deal with the settlements and for failing to turn the issue into a major crisis.
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"Confronting the settlements is the task of the Palestinian people and their leadership and not only this official or that ministry," he added. He dismissed the dismantling of some illegal outposts as a theater and joke. "These actions are designed to deceive the international public opinion and win more time to consolidate the foundations of settlements."
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Ta´mari claimed that Israel is continuing to establish mew settlements, outposts and bypass roads, in addition to the security fence, in order to create new facts on the ground. "Israel´s policy of settlements has left only 40% of the West Bank for the Palestinians to establish their state," he said.
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Over the past few years Ta´mari has been a driving force behind protests against settlements. Some of the demonstrations were staged in coordination with Israeli left-wing activists.
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His call for a new intifada coincides with a campaign the Palestinian Authority is waging now against the security fence in the West Bank. (© 1995-2003, The Jerusalem Post 08/07/03)
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