Fatah calls on Muslims to attack US, UK targets
The Jerusalem Post

23 March 2003

The Aksa Martyrs' Brigades, an offshoot of Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement, on Saturday called on Muslims to attack American, British and Israeli targets all over the world in response to the war in Iraq.

A statement issued by the group in the West Bank city of Nablus said: "This fierce onslaught against the [Arab] nation, which began in Iraq, is aimed at dividing the region in order to establish new Zionist cantons led by neo-Nazis."

The group accused the US, Israel and Britain of seeking to take control over the resources of the Arabs and Muslims through "terror and massacres." It called on "all the honorable in the Arab world to rise against the new international terror by striking at the interests of the three countries."

The statement also urged Palestinians to carry out suicide attacks in Israel as part of the war against the US and its allies.

Palestinian Authority officials said the statement does not reflect the policy of the political leadership of Fatah. "Arafat does not approve of the statement," commented one official. He said the statement could have been issued by a small minority in Fatah that

The Fatah threat follows an appeal by Hamas and Islamic Jihad to the Iraqi people to carry out suicide attacks against the US and UK troops.

Hamas declared Monday a day of fasting in support of Saddam Hussein. It urged Muslims to hold special prayers to call for the annihilation of the US and its allies and called on Arab governments to cut off diplomatic relations with Washington and London.

For the second day running, tens of thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip took to the streets Saturday to protest against the war in Iraq. Most of the demonstrations took place in the Gaza Strip, where protestors carried posters of the Iraqi president and chanted "Death to America, Death to Bush." In many refugee camps Palestinians burned Israeli, American and British flags.

Some 15,000 students from the Islamic University in Gaza City marched in the streets to protest against the "crusade" campaign against Iraq. The demonstrators held a special prayer calling for the destruction of the US and Great Britain and for the victory of Iraq.

In the West Bank, thousands of Palestinians staged protests in Bethlehem and Ramallah on Friday and Saturday, denouncing the Arab presidents and monarchs as "traitors and dogs."