JERUSALEM (Dec. 17)
The Islamic fundamentalist Hamas movement is using threats and intimidation to wrest leadership of the intifada from Yasir Arafat’s Al Fatah wing of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Leaflet No. 51, titled “Victory or Death,” warns that anyone who engages in the political process with Israel “will be regarded a traitor.”
The leaflet attacks U.S. Secretary of State James Baker’s five-point proposal for an Israeli-Palestinian dialogue, claiming it is intended only to crush the uprising.
The leaflet also, for the first time, attacks the Egyptian role in the peace process, warning Arab countries not to be drawn into “the Camp David circle.”
Hamas, an organization of Moslem fundamentalists, is the PLO’s most serious rival in the territories.
In a challenge to the secular PLO, Hamas urged the public to raise Palestinian flags with religious slogans on Jan. 1, the anniversary of the founding Al Fatah.
The purpose is to demonstrate the “Moslem character” of the uprising, Hamas said.