Senior Fatah official Jibril Rajoub commented for the first time on the kidnapping of three Israeli teens on Thursday, a week after the abduction, only to justify the attack on the two 16-year-olds and the 19-year-old.
"After 20 years of negotiations it's understood to us again that kidnappings are the only language that Israel understands. It's clear that that's the only path to free our prisoners from jail, whose numbers grow each day," announced Rajoub, reports NRG.
The justification of kidnappings to release jailed terrorists comes as 80 imprisoned Arab terrorists have been hospitalized after refusing to eat for nearly two months. The Knesset has presented a controversial bill to force-feed them.
The Fatah official's comments echo those made in a joint statement by Fatah's terrorist wing, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, along with Hamas and other terrorists groups on Tuesday, which called Israel a "racist occupier that only understands the language of force."
Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon (Likud) responded to the comments Thursday while speaking to senior American officials.
"We must remind Rajoub and his terrorist friends that we also know how to speak the language they understand," stated Danon, adding that security forces will do all that is needed to rescue the three youths.
Rajoub's comments justifying the abduction are made the more meaningful given his close relationship with Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. In February, Rajoub made an official trip to Iran as Abbas's representative; while there he said in an interview "if the talks fail, armed struggle against (Israel) could be a strategic solution."
Rajoub also holds senior positions as Chairman of the PA Olympic Committee and Deputy Secretary of the Fatah Central Committee.
The Fatah official's comments come in opposition to those made by Abbas on Wednesday, when he opposed the kidnapping, saying "those who kidnapped the three teenagers want to destroy us. We will hold them accountable."
Abbas played the victim in saying the kidnapping threatened the PA, while defending cooperation with the IDF in the rescue operation, commenting "the kidnapped are human beings like us."
"It is in our interest to have security coordination with Israel because that would help protect us," Abbas said, claiming "I say it frankly, we will never have another Intifada - that would destroy us."
Not only Hamas was enraged by Abbas's comments - apparently Fatah members in Hevron also are making their opposition to the PA chairman and leader of Fatah known.
A Fatah student group in Hevron published a notice, denouncing Abbas and saying "he's not our president. He represents only himself.
"We aren't interested in having this man as our president. ...We announce that we oppose all his actions and words, we are against the security arrangements (with Israel) and for resistance by all means available to achieve the interests of the Palestinian nation," wrote the Fatah activists.
The noticed added "Fatah members have always been fighters for the resistance. We sent our blessings to those who conducted the kidnapping. We strengthen your hands and actions for the release of our brothers the prisoners, and for establishing the state of Palestine whose capital is Jerusalem."