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Reactions to Israeli military response

(CNN) -- The Israeli military's advance on Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's compound in Ramallah Friday -- a response to Wednesday's "Passover massacre" -- prompted strong reactions from the parties directly involved in the conflict and outsiders working toward a peaceful resolution.

'I hope I will be a martyr'

'I hope I will be a martyr'

"They either want to kill me, or capture me, or expel me. I hope I will be a martyr in the Holy Land. I have chosen this path and if I fall, one day a Palestinian child will raise the Palestinian flag above our mosques and churches."

-- Yasser Arafat, Palestinian leader, speaking by telephone to Al-Jazeera television

'Arafat has established a coalition of terrorism'

'Arafat has established a coalition of terrorism'

"Arafat has established a coalition of terrorism against Israel. He is an enemy and at this stage he will be isolated ... All of this is happening during a period in which Israel's hand was extended in peace and Israel's hand is still extended in peace. We've done everything we could to bring about a cease-fire. Everything that we've got back has been terrorism, terrorism and more terrorism."

-- Ariel Sharon, Israeli prime minister, speaking after an all-night Cabinet meeting

'The vicious cycle of violence'

'The vicious cycle of violence'

"I don't think that (Israeli Prime Minister Ariel) Sharon realizes the consequences of this (military action). I think that he's throwing Palestinians and Israelis deeper and deeper into the cycle, the vicious cycle of violence and counter-violence."

-- Saeb Erakat, chief Palestinian negotiator

'He instigated those bombings'

'He instigated those bombings'

"(Arafat) is responsible for the death of those poor innocent men, women and children in all those suicide bombings. He instigated those bombings. He encouraged them. Even in the speech today he encouraged the young Palestinians to become shahids (martyrs). He even mentioned that he wants to become a shahid. And that encouraged continuous attacks against Israel instead of stopping them."

-- Ra'anan Gissin, senior Sharon adviser

'Violence ... harms the interests of the region's countries'

'Violence ... harms the interests of the region's countries'

"(Israel's actions will lead) to a vicious circle of violence that harms the interests of the region's countries, Israel at the top ... Egypt particularly warns against attempting to hurt the Palestinian Authority and its leader because such aggressive attempts are a violation of all international laws and agreements."

-- Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's president, reading a statement on Egyptian television

'Terror and violence must stop now'

'Terror and violence must stop now'

"There was reason for guarded optimism. And let us be clear about what brought it all to a halt -- terrorism ... Chairman Arafat has to act, act against those responsible, to make clear terror and violence must stop now. All those who support peace must reinforce this message. Nothing can get started, no political process can take hold, in the presence of this type of terrorist activity."

-- Colin Powell, U.S. Secretary of State

'Sharon is a criminal'

'Sharon is a criminal'

"Sharon is a criminal. He is a man soaked with blood, and he does not represent the Israeli people ... (If Arafat is harmed), the resistance will continue because every Palestinian will become a Yasser Arafat."

-- Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah

'We have to fight back'

"This is the day that Mr. Arafat and his people should know that we are not going to be quiet. We have to fight back for what he did for the last (several) months, the last period, all the terror attacks. We have to defend ourselves."

-- Lyon Zulag, Israeli reservist

'This is madness'

'This is madness'

"Asking Ariel Sharon to exercise restraint is like telling a fire not to flame. Sharon ... has been true to his legacy -- his mass murders, his history of war crimes. He has done nothing but escalate the violence, provoke the Palestinians and create a bloodbath here -- a cycle of revenge ... He's bringing death and destruction on both sides. He should be stopped. This is madness."

-- Hanan Ashrawi, Palestinian legislator

'He must be stopped'

'He must be stopped'

"(Arafat) is not preventing terror attacks against innocent Israeli citizens. He is also instructing part of the terrorist organizations to continue this kind of terror against Israelis. He must be isolated in order to enable our forces to take out these terrorist organizations, to dismantle them and to make sure that there will be grounds for a cease-fire in order to go back to the negotiating table."

-- Gideon Meir, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman

'A whole people ... humiliated'

"A whole people to be humiliated ... and oppressed and under occupation for how many years? How many people are we losing every day? ... (Arafat) said I am giving you a legacy, a legacy to continue in case I die a martyr."

-- Ramonda Tawil, Arafat's mother-in-law

'The leadership call of the United States'

'The leadership call of the United States'

"This is a vicious cycle that will never come to an end unless we do whatever we can to stop it. ... Nobody can ask the Palestinians to condone the tanks and troops sitting in their streets ... We have to end the Israeli occupation, and we have to end the violence by both parties, Israelis and Palestinians. And here is the leadership call of the United States that we need to exercise."

-- Amr Moussa, Arab League Secretary-General

'Force will bring neither peace nor security'

'Force will bring neither peace nor security'

"Terrorism will not bring the Palestinian people closer to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. Yet I have also consistently voiced criticism over Israel's use of disproportionate lethal force, especially in civilian populated areas in response to these attacks. Such use of force will bring neither peace nor security to Israel."

-- Kofi Annan, U.N. Secretary-General



 
 
 
 







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