By Boris Shusteff

On August 22, 1997 "El Watan," one of Algeria's best informed papers on security issues, wrote that "terrorists" -- Algerian officials' term for Muslim fundamentalists -- caught a boy named Mohammed, aged 10, and his 11-year-old sister Samia, and cut their throats.

According to a report on the same day by the Nando Times from Paris, "Muslim guerrillas killed 64 people and kidnapped 15 young women in night attacks in the Islamists' stronghold of Blida province, about 30 miles south of Algiers. A doctor at Algiers hospital of Zemirli said: 'A group of 63 people, including women and children had their throats cut at Souhane village in Blida's province overnight Thursday...Another 90-year old man was hit by a shovel to death by the same criminals.' "

Since the last election in Algeria, on June 5, 1997, more than 700 civilians, including children and pregnant women, have been killed. Since 1992, after Islamic fundamentalists took a huge lead in the first round of Algeria's legislative elections and the elections were canceled by the authorities, the number of people killed has reached 60,000. These gruesome statistics have a direct relation to Israel's destiny. There is no real difference between terrorists--Muslim fundamentalists, and terrorists--PLO and Hamas. In order to reach their goals militant Muslims of all kinds do not spare anybody.

When, in 1976, Yasser Arafat's PLO destroyed Damour, a Christian Lebanese town of some 25,000 people, the Palestinian murderers employed the same barbaric methods as the Algerian fundamentalists. The priest of Damour, Father Mansour Labaky is quoted in J. Becker's The PLO:

"And I remember something which still frightens me. An entire family had been killed, the Can'an family, four children all dead, and the mother, the father and the grandfather. The mother was still hugging one of the children. And she was pregnant. The eyes of the children were gone and their limbs were cut off. No legs and no arms. It was awful....We buried them....under the shells of PLO."

As J. Becker wrote, even before witnessing the atrocities, Father Labaky called Arafat and asked his aide to stop the shelling, saying, "I can assure you, as a religious leader, that we do not want the war; we do not believe in violence," He received a brutal reply, "Father, don't worry. We don't want to harm you. If we are destroying you, it is for strategic reasons." So the Israeli Jews must understand that when the PLO, Hamas and other terrorist groups slaughter, kill and maim them, they should not worry. This is done not in order to harm them. If the Jews are destroyed they are destroyed only for strategic reasons.

There is a saying, "Tell me who is your friend and I will tell you who you are." When on August 20,1997, Abdelaziz Rantissi, a prominent leader of the Muslim militant Hamas movement, embraced Arafat during a meeting of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, a clear message was sent to the Arab world and the Palestinian Arabs. It is worth mentioning that Rantissi's name is on the list of 200 militants whose immediate arrests Israel requested; a list that was given to Arafat. The message was reiterated by another participant, Nafez Azam, a senior Islamic Jihad leader, who said that "he hoped that the conference will unite the Palestinian people and ensure their right to continue a holy war against Israel." Arafat himself in an address to the conference declared, "There was an uprising for seven years. We can erase it and do it again from the beginning. There is nothing far from us. All options are open to us."

The sinister meaning of the statement, proclaimed in the presence of the Hamas "brother," becomes more obvious if one knows the words of a Hamas representative quoted by Norman Finkelstein in The Rise and Fall of Palestine. "Asked what the Islamic movement would have done differently had it led the Intifada, a Hamas leader replied, 'We would have killed thirty, not three, settlers.'"

The Chicago Tribune in its August 3, 1997 issue, in the wake of the latest Jerusalem bombings, published a big article based on an interview with Musa Abu Marzook, where he candidly offered Hamas's objectives. As the newspaper wrote, "Abu Marzook is fatalistic about the direction of events. There is no right or wrong. Only struggle now with the Israelis." He said in the interview, "When you end the armed struggle, that means you will return with nothing in your hand." The newspaper continued, "In Amman, Abu Marzook would not discuss specific terrorist operations, but he laid out Hamas' vision of justice: a world where the ends, no matter how elusive, justify the means, no matter how brutal." Marzook's appeal to Hamas, published in the August issue of the United Arab Emirates magazine "Al-Islah," when he called on Hamas "to stalk the herds of those spiteful settlers and turn their lives into an unbearable hell," is only consistent with his vision.

Marzook's vision is based on the Hamas Charter. Article Seven of the Charter says that "Hamas is one of the links in the Chain of Jihad in the confrontation with the Zionist invasion." Article Fifteen clarifies that "when...enemies usurp some Islamic lands, Jihad becomes a duty binding on all Muslims. In order to face the usurpation of Palestine by Jews we have no escape from raising the banner of Jihad...We must spread the spirit of Jihad..., clash with the enemies and join the ranks of Jihad fighters.... We must imprint on the minds of generations of Muslims that the Palestinian problem is a religious one, to be dealt with on this premise..."

According to Article Twenty Seven "The PLO is among the closest to Hamas, for it constitutes a father, a brother, a relative, a friend...When the PLO adopts Islam as the guideline for life, then we shall become its soldiers, the fuel of its fire which will burn the enemies. And until that happens, and we pray to Allah that it will happen soon, the position of the Hamas towards the PLO is one of a son towards his father."

It appears that "father" Arafat's recent meeting in Amman with "son" Abu Marzook has mended the sometimes strained "family " relations between two terrorist groups. Therefore it is ridiculous to expect real actions directed against Hamas from Arafat. Both PLO and Hamas work towards Israel's destruction. They can use different tactical approaches but their overall strategic goal stays the same. Charters of both organizations declare this. Article 7 of the PLO Charter says that "Armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine. This is the overall strategy..." Article Twelve of the Hamas Charter says that "Nothing is loftier or deeper in Nationalism than waging Jihad against the enemy and confronting him when he set foot on the land of the Muslims. And this becomes an individual duty binding on every Muslim..."

When Arafat in an October 21,1996 speech at the Dehaise refugee camp, proclaimed, "We know only one word: Jihad, Jihad, Jihad," he fully meant it. All his words and actions clearly prove this. If for some tactical reasons he uses the word "peace" it is only because, as he explained in a 1972 interview with Oriana Fallaci, "Peace for us means the destruction of Israel and nothing else." 8/25/97.

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