“[Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon has ignored the Palestinian partner and announced a unilateral disengagement plan, which is not acceptable to me,” Kaddoumi added. He promised the Palestinians that their leadership would “continue to march forward along Arafat's path, and along the path of the successes he managed to bring his people.”
Fatah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other groups issued separate leaflets calling on the Palestinians to escalate the “struggle” against Israel in the post-Arafat era. “We must continue the fight in order to fulfill President Arafat's dream,” read one of the leaflets. Calls for continuing the intifada were heard in rallies across the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and the Gaza Strip, as hundreds of Palestinians took to the streets, mourning their leader and torching tires.
Top Fatah operative Hussein Al-Sheikh confirmed that the Palestinians were headed toward an escalation. “We will continue to believe the gun is the way to get rid of the occupation,” he said. “This is Abu Amar's [Arafat's] promise and this is his will and we will continue to be true to them.”
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