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Sharon working against Palestinian democracy

July 1, 2012

Thursday, September 29. 2005
Sep 28, 2005, 23:42
Occupied Jerusalem – The Palestinian Authority has accused Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of seeking to sabotage the upcoming Palestinian legislative elections, slated for 27 January.

The Israeli army has been rounding up hundreds of mainly Islamic political activists throughout the West Bank, many of whom are viewed as either actual or potential candidates for the elections.

Most of the detainees, who include doctors, engineers, university professors, students, businessmen and other professionals have been sent to the notorious “Kitziot” detention center in the Negev desert for what it seems open-ended incarceration.

“I have no doubt that Sharon is apprehensive about the very idea of allowing Palestinians to have elections. He realizes that democracy empower our people, and he wants to keep us in a perpetual state of weakness so that he could impose on us the fait accompli,” said Ahmed Subh, the PA official spokesman.

In an interview with PIC, Subh accused Sharon of “harboring insidious design and ill will toward the entire peace process.”

“He wants to push the entire region to an imbroglio of violence and counter violence for the purpose of impeding or neutralizing any meaningful international effort to restart the peace process.

“He knows that reviving the peace process would exert pressure on him to carry out the terms of the roadmap, and he is not ready for that.”

Asked if the arrest of hundreds of pro-Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders and activists could hinder the organization of Palestinian elections on time, Subh said the Palestinians wouldn’t play into Sharon’s hands.

“Of course, this is his desire, I have no doubt about that. But we will not play into his hands and enable him to fulfill his desire. We will hold the elections on time.”

Sharon and his Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom made explicit threats to disrupt or even prevent the organization of Palestinian parliamentary elections if Hamas was allowed to participate.

” We will make every effort not to help them. I don’t think they can have elections without our help,” Sharon was quoted as telling reporters in New York on 16 September.

Hence, the arrest of the estimated 400 Islamic leaders and activists during the past few days is seen here as a fulfillment of these threats.

However, Israeli government spokesmen deny that the arrests are meant to thwart the upcoming elections.

“We dont arrest innocent people. These people are hostile to Israel and support Hamas. They will be tried and imprisoned, and those proven innocent will be released,” said Amira Oron, an Israeli foreign ministry spokeswoman.

Oron’s statements were strongly rejected by an un-arrested Islamist spokesman in the Bethlehem region, who only agreed to give his nickname, apparently for fear of arrest.

“In any democratic country, people are arrested only where there is credible evidence incriminating them. Here under the so-called ‘only democracy in the Middle East,’ people are arrested because of their beliefs and views,” said Abu Ahmed.

“Their brutal soldiers raid our homes in the quiet hours before dawn, they beat husbands before their wives and kids, drag them to detention camps, then they tell the world, look how much the Palestinian hate us!

“This is only a preview of the democracy Sharon and Bush are promising Arabs and Muslims in the Middle East.”

Copyright 2003 by

Friends of Al Aqsa is a voluntary organisation concerned with the defence of
Al Aqsa Haram Sharif and the protection of Palestinian Human Rights.
P.O. Box 5127, Leicester. LE2 0WU. England.
Tel 077 11 823 524
Fax ++ 44 [116] 253 7575


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