While the unity deal between Hamas and Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction have spelled the death of the peace talks, further evidence documents how Fatah's position mirrored that of Hamas even at the height of talks.
Last December, while US Secretary of State John Kerry was planning a diplomatic "January offensive" to force Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to submit to US peace plans demanding massive Israeli concessions, Fatah official Tawfiq Tirawi was busy expounding his own plans of another kind of "offensive."
Speaking at an event marking World Teachers' Day, which was broadcast on official PA TV, Tirawi declared, "not a centimeter of Jerusalem will be liberated unless every grain of Palestinian soil is soaked in the blood of its brave people." The statements were translated by Palestinian Media Watch.
Tirawi added that "negotiations will not bring Jerusalem back to us," but rather that "the struggle" is the path to conquering the 3,000-year-old capital of the Jewish people.
Revealing the PA's true intentions, Tirawi noted, "we have conducted negotiations, while not laying down the rifle. It [the rifle] may be resting but we will not neglect our principles."
"From fighting to Intifada, to popular resistance, to negotiations - but we will not abandon [our principles] - not in negotiations and not in any other way. I say, from a position of responsibility, the negotiations resulted in nothing except for the [release of the] prisoners," concluded Tirawi.
Indeed, Nabil Shaath, a senior official of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), revealed in a November interview that the PA was only staying in the peace talks to release the jailed terrorists who were promised as a "gesture" for the talks.
Two weeks ago, mere days before the unity deal with Hamas, Tirawi declared the borders of "Palestine" replace all of Israel, including the coastal region. Meanwhile in April, he stated that the two-state solution is over, calling for a return to armed conflict.
Tirawi in late March said in Jericho that Fatah has "not cast down the rifle and has not let go of the rifle. The rifle is here!" He added that peace talks are only "one of the methods of struggle. But the rifle is here, and it can burst forth at any moment."
He is only one of a string of senior officials in Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to have made similar comments.
In early January a senior member of Fatah's Central Committee, Abbas Zaki, said that anything gained via negotiations would simply be the first stage in the ultimate destruction of Israel.