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Daily Israel Report

Fatah: PA Will Take All of Jerusalem – by Peace or by Force

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s fractured Fatah party concluded at its convention that all of Jerusalem will be taken either by peace or by force.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 8/9/2009, 10:12 AM

Israel news photo

The Fatah party headed by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, re-elected in the fractured party convention in Bethlehem Saturday night, concluded all of Jerusalem is a “red line” for the PA.

"Fatah will continue to sacrifice victims until Jerusalem will be returned, clean of settlements and settlers," according to a Fatah “all-or-nothing” policy paper, which did not distinguish between the part of the capital that was restored to Israel in the Six-Day War in 1967 and the section that was recognized by the United Nations as part of Israel in the 1949 Armistice Agreement.

Abbas, who previously has said he will not extend his term of office as head of the Palestinian Authority, which Fatah leads, was re-elected unanimously for another five-year term. He was the sole candidate who stood for the position. The de facto Hamas government in Gaza prevented Fatah delegates from leaving the region for Bethlehem, but several of them voted by telephone.

The convention, marked by scuffles and mud slinging, is being extended to Tuesday as it tries to rejuvenate itself following years of corruption, which opponents say remains rampant.

Abbas warned at the opening of the convention that Israel faces violence from the PA if it does not agree to its terms for a new Arab state on the land of Judea, Samaria and Gaza. He claimed that attacks on Israelis are valid under international law.

“Although we have chosen peace, we maintain the right to launch an armed resistance, which is legitimate as far as international law is concerned." he told approximately the 2,000 delegates.

At-Tayyib Abdul-Rahim, a member of Fatah Central Committee, said following Abbas's re-election, “Fatah is still a liberation movement, and since we have not achieved our goals, we have popular resistance.... If peace efforts are thwarted, there will be no security, nor stability in the region.”