US-Brokered Deal 'Just the First Stage' in Israel's Demise
As US-brokered talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) continue, amid pressure for further territorial concessions by Israel, a senior Palestinian Authority official has told Syrian TV that any agreement will simply be the "first stage" in eradicating Israel altogether.
Abbas Zaki posted a clip of the interview - which was promptly translated and circulated by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) - onto his Facebook page.
In response to concern expressed by the interviewer that any US-imposed deal would be "deficient", insofar as it would "only" require Israel to cede Judea and Samaria, a smiling Zaki urges calm.
"You can relax. We find ourselves united for the first time. Even the most extreme among us, Hamas, or the fighting forces, want a state within the '67 borders [sic]. Afterward, we [will] have something to say, because the inspiring idea cannot be achieved all at once. [Rather] in stages," he responded.
Zaki is a senior member of the central committee of Fatah - the Arab nationalist party which dominates the PA, and is headed by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
The strategy to eradicate the Jewish state "in stages" via a combination of terrorism and diplomacy, as opposed to in a single military conquest, has been voiced by many PA officials in the past, who note that Israel cannot be destroyed in one fell swoop.
Palestinian Media Watch has exposed a string of such statements by senior officials in the past, casting serious doubt over the viability of the Obama administration's recent attempt to impose a solution to the conflict.
Earlier this year, in a speech attended by Mahmoud Abbas, the PA's Religious Affairs Minister explained that any treaties with Israel should be viewed as another "Treaty of Hudaybiyyah" - a reference to a "temporary" deal signed by Islam's founder Muhammed, which was promptly broken as soon as the Muslim armies were strong enough to achieve victory.
In another interview in 2011, Zaki was even more explicit:
"While the agreement is on the borders of June 4, the President [Mahmoud Abbas] understands, we understand, and everyone knows that it is impossible to realize the inspiring idea, or the great goal in one stroke," he explained to Al Jazeera.
However, he continued, an agreement which would see the destruction and ethnic-cleansing of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria would itself prove strategically fatal for the Jewish state in the long-run.
"If Israel withdraws from Jerusalem, if Israel uproots the settlements, 650,000 settlers, if Israel removes the (security) fence - what will be with Israel? Israel will come to an end.
"If I say that I want to remove it from existence, this will be great, great, [but] it is hard. This is not a [stated] policy. You can't say it to the world. You can say it to yourself."