- June 30, 2006
Interview With PLC Deputy Speaker, Dr. Ahmed Bahar
Ikhwanweb had the following interview with Dr. Ahmed Bahar, Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) Deputy Speaker, on the eve of the deal on the Prisoners’ document
1. What do you think of the Karm abu-Salem military operation?
The heroic and complex operation executed by Izzedin al-Qassam Brigades, Popular Resistance Committees and Islamic Army astonished the whole world, destroyed the legend of the Zionist security and embarrassed the Israeli military establishment.
It is a natural response to the crimes committed against the Palestinian people especially the occupation’s latest massacres in the Gaza beach, in Salah Eddin street and then in Khan-younis city.
I think that you have heard Huda Ghalia when she was screaming “father, father.”
After that, I see that the Palestinians have the right to resist
2. Do you think that this operation is in favor of the Palestinians or it harms them as some people claim?
I am sure that the Palestinians, Arabs and all people around the world are proud of this heroic military operation. However, there are some people who lived on the culture of defeatism as they are afraid on their personal interests. This operation has elevated the position of the Palestinian resistance to a high level.
3. Regarding the kidnapped Israeli soldier, what are the profits to be gained of him?
On the one hand, abduction is considered one of the legal ways of resistance which is allowed to all Palestinians.
On the other hand, we have about ten thousand prisoners in the Israeli jails. The captive is a string of hope for those prisoners, otherwise, how will they be freed at the time all accords don’t have anything concerning their issue
4. Olmert has threatened to act strongly against Palestinians to release the kidnapped soldier. Doesn’t this harm the Palestinians?
I know that he has threatened and fulfilled his threats. His army targeted three bridges along the Gaza Strip last night, cutting it into three parts. His army also targeted the only power station in the Strip and left is in darkness. Such bombardment terrifies children and women. But I consider this as a cowardly act against our people and it was being done before the abduction and continued after it. I say that the Israeli aggression against the Palestinians isn’t something new for the Palestinians.
5. Do you think that this operation has harmed the relation between the President and his Government; nevertheless, we have seen that Presidents’ aides have condemned it while the Government has praised it?
In my point of view, I see that neither the President nor the Government has anything to do with operation. So that, both have to stand jointly behind their nation in order to face the Zionist challenges resulted from the operation.
6. But the persons behind the operation claim the interest of the nation which is the responsibility of President and the Government!
. . . The Government has declared its position and called for the abductors to preserve the life of the soldier, according to the principles of our religion. The Government also announced clearly that it doesn’t condone this operation and denied any connections with the captors.
7. Do you think that the operation has undermined the chances of success of the national dialogue between Hamas and the other Palestinian factions?
I don’t think so. I think that both (the end of the national dialogue and the abduction) are separate issues despite their occurrence at the same time.
The end of the dialogue was positive and it was a result of intensive work for more than one month and it isn’t related to the abduction at all. In addition, the Israeli aggression may not be related to the abduction of the soldier, but is aiming to direct a blow to the internal Palestinian conciliation which embarrasses Israelis.
8. What is Hamas’s position from the Israeli threats, which proclaim that all Hamas members are legitimate targets without diplomatic immunity?
This isn’t new. This has been declared many times in the past, and it only reiterates the fact that the [Israelis] are the most bloodiest in the world. . . This has been always their policy since the Deir Yassin massacre in 1948, which was carried out by former PM Manhem Pagain, who said that Israel was founded on the bodies and fragments of the Palestinians.
Aren’t them who have assassinated Yasser Arafat whom they have endowed the noble prize for peace and also assassinated quadriplegic Shiekh Ahmed Yassin and other national leaders.
(Ikhwanweb: There is no evidence that Israel has assassinated Yasser Arafat, neither there was any criminal investigation into his death, which was ruled out as natural due to his medical conditions)
9. Does the Israeli affect the work of the PLC and the Government?
Of course, there is no doubt. For example, we have postponed the PLC convention slated yesterday fearing that the Israelis may attack the PLC building during the meeting.
We don’t fear death, but Allah (SWT) has said: “be aware.”
10. Does the PLC or the Government have any information about the soldier?
No, absolutely, we don’t have any information.
11. If Israel agrees to negotiate with the Palestinians about the soldier, who among Palestinians will participate in such negotiations?
The kidnappers themselves or whoever they designate since they are themselves who are responsible for this operation.
12. Is there any cooperation between the PLC and the Government from one side and the military wing of Hamas?
There is cooperation between the Government and all political and military factions, not only with Hamas military wing.
There is also cooperation between the Government and many regional and international bodies who are sympathized with us and with our cause.
The Prisoners’ Document
1. Don’t you think that the first point of the reconciliation document, which call for the establishment of a Palestinian state on the land occupied in 1967, is an implied recognition of Israel and a concession of the land occupied in 1948 which is 78% of the historical Palestine?
The Palestinian state must have a sovereign authority on all the land occupied in 1967, including Jerusalem. We officially don’t recognize 1967 and 1948 borders or an Israeli state on the Palestinian land. We believe that all the Palestinian land is for the Palestinians only . . . You have to notice that the following sentence is a part of the introduction of the document: “Right doesn’t abate with prescription. This is built on the base of unrecognizing the legitimacy if the occupation.”
2. Don’t you think that limiting resistance to the 1967 land is a restriction?
The document doesn’t say that. The text say: “resistance is a legal right against the occupation by all means (full stop) concentrating resistance in the 1967 land.”
The word “concentrating” doesn’t mean limiting. It means focusing the fight in the 1967 land with going on in fighting in the 1948 land.
3. The document includes the formation of a national unity government. When will such a government be formed and will the door be opened for any body agreed on the document?
Hamas called for all political forces to join the Government, and after forming it, Mr. Ismail Haniya announced that he will leave the door opened for any one who wants to join the Government.
Since the document stipulates forming a national unity government, it doesn’t mean that the current Government was ended and a new government must replace it directly. Such thing needs elaborate discussions with parliamentary blocs and national bodies.
4. Will the door be opened for everyone or there will be some conditions?
Surely, those who have failed in their roles when they where ministers in previous governments will not be allowed as well as those who are known as corrupted bodies.
5. In case of forming a national unity government, Will Hamas monopolize any ministry?
Of course, yet. Hamas is the largest parliamentary bloc and it is the body which will for the government. So that, it must take control of the sovereign ministries such as the exterior, interior and financial ministries besides heading the council of ministers.
6. Does forming a unified resistance front as the document says, means eliminating all military wings of the political factions?
7. Doesn’t Hamas fear the selective policy Fatah use in such agreements as what happened in the Cairo agreement? They may choose what favors them and leave what doesn’t favor them.
This is a national conciliation mainly between Hamas and Fatah. It was signed before different national parties and bodies and will be posed on the President, PM and PLC soon. I don’t imagine that anyone can do what you have said.
8. How do you see the refusal of the Islamic Jihad to sign on the Document?
We respect their views. They have their own interpretations of the text such as the point concerning resistance. They understood that it limits resistance; however, in fact it doesn’t mean so. Regarding the government, they said that they haven’t shared the elections and so they will not share the government.
This is a national conciliation document. It isn’t for Fatah or for Hams. It is for all the Palestinian population.
9. At the end, what is the value of such document at the time Israel refuse it and the EU doesn’t see it enough for Hamas in order to elevate the siege on it?
Regardless to the Israeli and EU position towards this document. It is historical and significant for the Palestinians.