A senior member of Fatah, the faction headed by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, last week called for armed resistance against Israel.
The remarks made by Fatah Central Committee member Jibril Rajoub aired on Palestinian Authority TV and aired on the same day that Abbas asked the United Nations to upgrade the PA’s status to that of a non-member observer state.
The remarks were translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
“What brother Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] is doing is living proof of the independence of our decision making and our will,” said Rajoub. “This is the sacred message borne by the greatest Palestinian since Jesus – Yasser Arafat. It runs in the genes of all the Palestinians. We are all Arafatists, and we are loyal to your blood, oh Abu Ammar, whose death we commemorate this month: We shall only return our swords to their sheaths when the [Palestinian] state is established, your hopes are realized, and the refugees return.
“Let me tell you that the refugees’ return is sacred to Fatah and to all Palestinians. Resistance in all its forms is the strategic choice of Fatah. Let us agree – and we are ready for that – that if there is shooting, we will shoot, and if there are demonstrations, we will demonstrate,” Rajoub said.
Fatah is often branded by the West as the “moderate” faction, compared to terror group Hamas, and as a partner for peace talks with Israel.
However, there have been dozens of documented incidents on PA media in which its officials are seen inciting to hatred and attacks on Israel.
Abbas himself has claimed he is against terrorism but his television stations have many times glorified some of the biggest terror masterminds.
After Abbas recently told an Israeli television network that he would be willing to sit down for negotiations with Israel and establish a Palestinian state alongside Israel, Vice Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon recommended that Abbas’s remarks in Arabic be listened to as well.