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      Fatah: No Recognition of Israel – Ever

      Senior member of Fatah, Abbas' party and the majority PA faction, say the group will never recognize Israel.
      By Maayana Miskin
      First Publish: 7/23/2009, 6:02 PM

      Senior members of Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah have announced that their group will never recognize Israel, and will continue to call for war against Israel. “Fatah does not recognize Israel's right to exist, nor have we ever asked others to do so,” said senior Fatah member Rafik Natsheh, a close associate of Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

      Media reports, according to which Fatah has recognized Israel and has called on Hamas to do the same, are false, Natsheh said in an interview with the pan-Arab daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi. “It's all media nonsense. We don't ask other factions to recognize Israel; we ourselves do not recognize Israel,” he said.

      Fatah controls the PA in Judea and Samaria, and is the party of Abbas. Unlike the rival breakaway PA led by Hamas in Gaza, the Fatah-led PA has agreed to recognize Israel, although it will not recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

      The PA recognizes Israel because if it did not, it would not be able to “serve the Palestinian people,” Natsheh explained. However, Fatah does not have such constraints.

      Not only will Fatah never recognize Israel, but it will never end its call for armed struggle against Israel, he said. “Let those who are deluding themselves hear: this will never happen,” he said.

      A second senior Fatah member, Azzam el-Ahmed, agreed that Fatah would not drop its call to wage war on Israel.

      Natsheh and Ahmed gave interviews in advance of the Fatah general assembly in early August, in which the organization will meet to discuss its goals and to hold elections. The meeting will be the first in approximately 20 years.