The Palestinian Authority is continuing to express its support for violence against Israeli citizens in Arabic-language media, despite English-language propaganda insisting the PA wants peace. The interview, broadcast August 6 on PA TV (Fatah), was translated by the media watchdog Palestinian Media Watch (PMW).
Senior Fatah Central Committee member Jibril Rajoub, a leading PA government official, reiterated the faction's support for “armed struggle” in the interview. “At the [sixth Fatah] Conference, we affirmed the struggle in all its forms, including resistance and the armed struggle... We agreed on it unanimously, about both the movement's aims and its principles, including the resistance and the armed struggle,” he said.
“The [armed] struggle, as we see it, is not an aim; it is not a hike or a pleasure cruise. [Armed] resistance has circumstances, considerations, and factors – whether national, regional or international. It must cause pain to the Occupation; it must be connected to a political platform,” Rajoub explained.
Former PA Prime Minister Ahmad Qureia (Abu Ala), who currently serves as the PA's chief negotiator, said in an interview published one day earlier in the London-based Arabic daily newspaper Al Sharq Al-Awsat that “all options are open,” including armed resistance.
“Negotiators, political activity, popular activity, and [armed] resistance... we must continue with it,” Qureia said, adding that all of the options were viable. “And if [resistance] gives me [benefit] without costing me, yes,” that option is also a good one, he said.
Both men echoed sentiments expressed earlier in the summer by Nabil Shaath, a member of the PA Parliament, a Fatah “Commissioner of Foreign Relations” and a member of the Fatah Central Committee.
In two separate interviews with Arabic-language media in June (Al-Dustur daily newspaper in Jordan, and Al-Hayat Al-Jadida in the PA), Shaath underscored the PA's commitment to violence against Israel.
“The Palestinian people has the right to defend itself, and it has the right to act in the way of the armed struggle. We have acted in this way for 100 years,” he said in the interview with Al-Hayat Al-Jadida. “Fatah led [the armed struggle] for 23 years, and Hamas adopted it for 15 years. We are proud of all of our Shahids (martyrs) and it is our right to return to the armed conflict whenever we view that as being in our people's interest.”