ROME (Jan. 9)
A prominent Palestinian nationalist has predicted a major Arab-Israeli war after the Persian Gulf crisis is settled.
Hannah Siniora, editor of the East Jerusalem Arabic daily Al-Fajr, maintained that “the real problem is that after the crisis in the Gulf, there will be another one much more serious which is already ripening.
“I mean that there will explode a war between the Arab nations and Israel,” he told II Messaggero in an interview published here Tuesday, a day before U.S.-Iraqi talks in Geneva.
According to Siniora, the Arab countries “lined up against Iraq will form a coalition against the common Jewish enemy. We believe in Arab unity. It is the dream of every Palestinian.”
He added that the Palestinians do not seek Israel’s destruction but only a “political compromise we called ‘land-for-peace.’ Unfortunately it does not depend upon us to reach this,” he said.
Siniora blamed the failure to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the “obtuseness” of Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir and the growing strength of fundamentalism “among Moslems, Jews, Christians.”
He expressed concern that Israel would take advantage of a Persian Gulf war to change the demographic makeup of the West Bank and Gaza Strip by installing hundreds of thousands of Soviet Jewish immigrants and transferring large numbers of Palestinians to Jordan.