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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Mahmoud Al-Aloul’

Fatah and the ‘Armed Struggle’ against Israel

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

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.

Fatah May Choose Mass Murderer Barghouti as VP to Trigger his Release

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Marwan Barghouti, imprisoned by Israel in 2002, is serving five life sentences for his role in multiple terrorist attacks within Israel. He is one of the legendary leaders of what is widely known as the Second Intifada, in which more than a thousand Israelis were killed and many thousands were injured.

But Barghouti is a very charismatic figure. Some call him the “Palestinian Mandela.”

The Fatah Central Committee, of which Barghouti remains a member, is probably aware that “President” Mahmoud Abbas’s term officially ended nearly five years ago. Abbas will have to be replaced at some point by someone who is elected and not just serving as a matter of inertia. And despite Abbas’s frequent claims that he will not run for re-election and his coy, semi-regular “threats” to withdraw from public office, the real problem for Fatah is that if there is an election, Hamas will be the likely victor.

If Hamas wins the next Arab Palestinian election, they will win not just in Gaza, but in the area referred to as the “West Bank.” At least one major reason that would be a terrible result for Fatah members is because all that delicious foreign aid money would dry up.

Enter Barghouti.  Or, rather, exit Barghouti.

At least that is the hope.

A new committee was formed in South Africa to campaign for Barghouti’s release from prison.  That committee, launched earlier this week, includes the anti-Apartheid activist Desmond Tutu.

This group issued a declaration, referring to Barghouti as “the most prominent and renowned Palestinian political prisoner, a symbol of the Palestinian people’s quest for freedom, a uniting figure and an advocate of peace based on international law.”

Barghouti clearly is a symbol, but surely reasonable people may quibble about whether he is a symbol of the Arab Palestinians’ quest for freedom and an advocate for peace.

Nonetheless, it is said that Barghouti’s popularity transcends merely the Fatah party, and extends even beyond Hamas and Islamic Jihad. In 2006, when Hamas and Fatah split, Barghouti was in the forefront of reunification efforts. While those more brazen advocates of violence support Barghouti, yet Barghouti is still a member of Fatah, thus allowing the western aid spigot to remain open.

Barghouti’s wife, Fadwa, believes her husband has not yet been a part of any of the prisoner swaps because she thinks the “old guard” of Fatah fears Barghouti’s political power.  But it may be that the old guard is finally realizing that Abbas cannot keep up his long running tap dance, and without new blood Fatah is doomed.

Or maybe others in the party see the handwriting on the wall, and are prepared to allow Barghouti to take his place in the limelight in order to ensure the steady flow of western aid.

A delegation of Fatah officials is scheduled to visit Barghouthi in the Israeli prison, according to the Arab Palestinian media outlet, Al Quds.

Mahmoud Al-Aloul, a member of Fatah’s central committee, said “We have intensified our efforts to design a practical plan which puts pressure on Israel to release Barghouti.”

“If Barghouti is appointed as Vice President to Abbas, and with sufficient international, Palestinian and Arab pressure, then the Israelis must release him, being as he would be a senior Palestinian official.”

Will the West embrace Marwan Barghouti, convicted mass murderer and darling of the Hate Israel crowd, as a legitimate candidate for office, and then force Israel to release the elected leader of the Arab Palestinians?

Sounds like a plan. One likely to succeed.

Note: Barghouti’s role in numerous terrorist activities leading to the deaths of Israelis and others is not in dispute, but this article has been changed to remove the suggestion that his convictions were for two suicide bombings. H/T DG.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/fatah-may-choose-mass-murderer-barghouti-as-vp-to-trigger-his-release/2013/11/07/

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