web analytics
April 25, 2015 / 6 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Fatah and the ‘Armed Struggle’ against Israel


Jibril Rajoub, a member of the Fatah Central Committee and former commander of the Palestinian security forces.

Jibril Rajoub, a member of the Fatah Central Committee and former commander of the Palestinian security forces.
Photo Credit: Palestinian Media Watch

Originally published at Gatestone Institute.

In an interview this week with the New York Times, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas once again expressed his opposition to an armed struggle against Israel.

“In my life, and if I have any more life in the future, I will never return to the armed struggle,” Abbas declared.

But while in English Abbas was voicing his opposition to an armed struggle, in Arabic Palestinian officials were issuing statements in support of “armed resistance” against Israel. The officials who favor “armed resistance” are not low-level bureaucrats working in the Palestinian Authority [PA]. Rather, they are senior representatives of Abbas’s ruling Fatah faction. Moreover, their names are often mentioned as potential successors to Abbas, who last month entered his 10th year of his four-year term in office.

In the past, Abbas has explained his opposition to the use of violence against Israel by arguing that this has proven to be “ineffective” and could bring more “destruction” to the Palestinians.

The good news is that the Fatah leadership recently repeated its support for a “popular struggle” against Israel. The announcement was made during Fatah’s celebrations marking its 49th anniversary.

The bad news is that Fatah is not united when it comes to the issue of resorting to terrorism against Israel. Fatah has many “rebels” and armed groups that continue openly to call for an “armed struggle” against Israel as a way of achieving Palestinian goals.

In recent months, a growing number of top Fatah officials such as Jibril Rajoub, Tawfik Tirawi and Mahmoud al-Aloul – all members of the Fatah Central Committee – have publicly come out in favor of a return to an “armed struggle” against Israel. Rajoub and Tirawi are former commanders of the Palestinian security forces in the West Bank and are considered close allies of Abbas. Al-Aloul, who is also closely associated with Abbas, is a former governor of the West Bank’s largest city, Nablus.

In addition, various armed groups belonging to Fatah, such as the Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, continue to maintain a presence not only in the West Bank, but the Gaza Strip as well. The group’s militiamen never miss an opportunity to issue all kinds of threats against Israel, including turning Tel Aviv into a “mass of flame.”

Abbas has chosen not to comment on the calls by his top loyalists for an “armed struggle” against Israel. There could be three reasons for Abbas’s decision to sit on the fence. First, he may be afraid of alienating these officials and other Fatah members who are eager to resort to terrorism against Israel. Second, perhaps Abbas, deep inside, does not completely oppose the idea. Third, Abbas probably wants to use these threats as a means of extracting concessions from Israel and scaring the international community into forcing Israel to accept Palestinian demands.

The statements in favor of an “armed struggle” are aimed at preparing the Palestinian public for another round of violence with Israel if and when the US-sponsored Israeli-Palestinian negotiations fail.

Abbas may be ignoring these statements, but many Palestinians listen very carefully to the messages coming out of their top representatives.

When senior figures of the Fatah such as Rajoub and Tirawi urge Palestinians to be prepared for the possibility of an “armed struggle” against Israel, they are actually instructing Fatah militiamen and supporters to be prepared to launch terrorist attacks.

Just last week, Rajoub told the Iranian TV station Al-Alam that, “The option of resistance, including armed resistance, remains on the table.”

Tirawi, for his part, sent the following message to the Palestinians: “This who think that the negotiations [with Israel] will bring us anything are mistaken. We must return to the cycle of action. This means resistance in all forms. Fatah has not abandoned the option of armed struggle.”

Al Aloul, in a similar message, emphasized, “Fatah has not abandoned the armed struggle as a legitimate right. Fatah’s sixth conference, which was held in Bethlehem in the summer of 2009, reaffirmed this point.”

It is almost unheard-of for Hamas to say a good word about Fatah. But the increased talk about resorting to terrorism against Israel has prompted Hamas to heap praise on Fatah’s leaders. Referring to the Fatah calls for renewed violence against Israel, Hamas leader Musa Abu Marzouk commented, “These are positive statements, especially in light of the fact that the three officials are members of Fatah’s central Committee.”

Obviously, there are some in Fatah who still believe in suicide bombings and rocket attacks as a way of forcing Israel to make concessions. These Fatah officials have forgotten that Palestinians paid a heavy price for “militarizing” the Second Intifada, and are now willing to send young men and women once again to “sacrifice” themselves for the Palestinian cause.

It is nice to read Abbas’s calming and moderate statements in the New York Times. But one should also not ignore the other voices coming out of his inner circle.

About the Author: Khaled Abu Toameh, an Arab Muslim, is a veteran award-winning journalist who has been covering Palestinian affairs for nearly three decades.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Fatah and the ‘Armed Struggle’ against Israel”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Car - A-Tor
Updated: Three Injured in Jerusalem Terror Attack, Ambulances and Mayor’s Car also Attacked
Latest Indepth Stories
israeli-american flags

All GOP candidates will continue seeking – and praying – for Jewish money with greater success.

New immigrants from USA and Canada arriving at Ben Gurion Airport.

The one reason to make Aliyah outweighs all the arguments not to move to Israel.

Keeping-Jerusalem

“We returned to this Land not in order to be murdered, or uprooted. We came here to be replanted!”

Ambassador Danny Ayalon

I don’t fear for the future of our people because I believe Yeshiva University has created an “Iron Dome” of Jewish leadership

Poland’s great Jewish cities where Jewish life had once flourished and thrived, were now desolate

Chief rabbi, Rav Dovid Lau, stated that the Torah community’s turnout in the WZO election is vital.

Iran has at its core the same ideology as that of ISIS but, inaccurately, is thought a lesser threat

An early Yom Ha’atzmaut gathering for Israel’s 67th birthday with Pres. Rivlin of Israel and guests

Israel’s Memorial Day shouldn’t be a day of mourning, it’s a day to honor, not another Holocaust Day

God’s 3 part promise for Israel: to the Avot; a plentiful land; the eventual return home by all Jews

A committed Religious Zionist, he was a sought-after adviser on Zionist affairs around the world.

More important, Mr. Obama is simply acceding to Iran’s position on the timing of the lifting of sanctions.

“Texans share a lot of the same attitude as Israelis, that we say what we think and we think what we say, and that makes it much easier to communicate,” he says.

The fight against terror is a case in point…. The establishment of a collective forum for dialogue in the Persian Gulf region…is long overdue….

More Articles from Khaled Abu Toameh
US has no problem with Egypt's bombing hundreds of homes of Gaza civilians but can't stand to see Israel destroy a terrorist's home.

Egypt has been more effective against Gazan smuggling tunnels than Israel’s military operations

This masked "soldier" carrying a machine-gun is not part of a terrorist organization, according to the European Court of Justice.

Hamas is continuing to prepare its next war against Israel instead of improving conditions in Gaza

Riot started when Muslim students wore the Pal. kaffiyeh and Druze students demanded them removed

Kerry and Obama must start listening to what Palestinian leaders are telling their people in Arabic.

Adult activists who send and encourage children to take part in violence should be held accountable.

To flee Gaza, Palestinian migrants reputedly paid $1000s to Hamas officials and Egyptian smugglers.

Fatah: Hamas stole relief aid for Gaza and distributed it amongst its followers in mosques.

Arab leaders who want the US to stop Islamic State are afraid of being dubbed traitors and US agents

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/khaled-abu-toameh/fatah-and-the-armed-struggle-against-israel/2014/02/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: