Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat said on Sunday that Year 2004 would be difficult for the Palestinian people despite efforts made to achieve peace in the region.
Arafat told a group of physicians at his partially destroyed headquarters in Ramallah that the Israelis are trying "to force our people to surrender through massacres in Jenin, Rafah and Nablus."
"We tell the Israelis that our people would never surrender and would only kneel to Allah," said the 75-year-old leader who has been besieged in the compound for nearly three years.
This year would be a difficult year for the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Arafat predicted.
Arafat blasted the world silence toward the crimes committed by Israel round the clock in the Palestinian towns and cities as well as refugee camps.
The Israeli army shot dead five Palestinians in the West Bank town of Nablus on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Arafat voiced appreciation for the position of the Israeli left-wing parties which rejected the agressive government policy and the Israeli army officers who refused to serve in the territories.