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Palestinians reject Sharm El-Sheikh
Al-Aqsa Intifada to continue

Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets on the West Bank and Gaza, voicing their rejection of the Sharm el-Sheikh agreement and vowing to keep up the Aqsa uprising, whcih erupted on 23 September following war criminal Sharon’s forced visit to the Aqsa complex, until the Palestinian people regain freedom and liberation from the shackles of zionist occupation. By MG press time on 22 October over 120 people had died, over 90% of them Palestinians who were killed by Israeli bullets.

Large marches and rallies took place in most Palestinian towns in the West Bank and Gaza, with speakers lambasting the Palestinian leadership for succumbing to Zionist and American pressure at Sharm el-Sheikh.

In al Khalil, protesters shouted ‘no to betraying the blood of our martyrs,’ ‘our uprising is not for sale,’ and ‘ yes, to the continuation of the intifada.’ Similar slogans were raised in marches in Bethlehem, Ramallah , Qalqilya and Nablus, amid half-hearted efforts by the PA to calm down the protests.

‘They are trying to de-sensitize the uprising by cheap rhetorical statements. We can't understand how Arafat, Mubarak and Abdullah caved in so easily and without any resistance to American pressure,’ said an Islamic Jihad activist, participating in a Gaza rally.

These words are in fact echoed throughout the self-rule areas where most Palestinians feel deeply disappointed, even betrayed, by the Sharm-el-Sheikh summit and their leadership's virtual impotence to stand up to combined Egyptian-Israeli-American pressure.

‘What can Arafat now tell the families and friends of the 120 martyrs and the estimated 4000 injured in this intifada ..does he think this is a soccer game?’ said a frustrated protester in al Khalil (Hebron).

In Nablus, Fatah protesters vowed they would listen to the voice of the people ‘irrespective of what the leadership says and does.’ One masked Fatah activist said ‘before Sharm el-Sheikh we had to cope with the criminal Zionists, now we have also to cope with the frustration stemming from the failure of our leadership to defend our interests.’

Meanwhile, sporadic clashes with Israeli occupation soldiers continued in many parts of the West Bank and Gaza. Confrontations also took place in East al-Quds, where Palestinian youngsters hurled stones at Israeli occupation targets. Observers in Palestine expect that anti-Zionist protests would continue despite PA efforts to restore calm and revert to the status quo ante, which preceded the current uprising.

Observers point out that the Sharm el-Sheikh agreement utterly failed to deal with the root causes of the uprising, namely the desecration by Zionists of Islamic holy places and Israel's adamant insistence to impose what amounts to a capitulation on PA leader Yasser Arafat. Hence, the intifada is likely to continue, despite the bloody price the Palestinians are forced to pay. 

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