Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction, often touted internationally as a "moderate" alternative to Hamas, has declared its intentions to further increase its terror attacks against Israeli citizens.
A new video released to YouTube by Fatah's "military wing," the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, declares the unity of Fatah's various military branches, and announces a recent decision to strengthen Fatah's military activities.
Filming in what they term a "joint operations room" in Gaza, the Fatah terrorists are seen in the video proudly displaying three-barrel rocket launchers, anti-tank rocket launchers, assault rifles and portable communications devices.
One of the terrorists is filmed telling the camera that "the rifle" was and remains the only option to "free the occupied lands," and that Fatah has never abandoned the path of violent terrorism.
As demonstrated by the armed presence in Gaza, Fatah's Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades has reportedly taken an active part in the terror war being fought against Israel from Gaza, joining Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terror organizations against Israel during Operation Protective Edge.
In Judea and Samaria, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades have likewise declared "open war" on the Jewish state.
The declaration has been followed by numerous Fatah terror attacks, including a shooting attack south of Bethlehem last Sunday, after another shooting attack the Sunday before in Neve Tzuf. On Monday, a wanted Fatah terrorist was killed by IDF forces near Shechem after he refused to turn himself in and opened fire on the soldiers.
While there has been a common perception globally that Abbas's Fatah is somehow more "moderate" and accessible as a peace partner than Hamas or other alternative groups, Fatah has been open about its goals to destroy Israel.
Fatah's position is in line with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) charter of 1968, which calls for "armed struggle" and "armed revolution," declaring "armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine," and calling on local Arabs to "be prepared for the armed struggle."
Following the charter, the PLO and Fatah were defined internationally as terror organizations, a status which was removed during the 1993 Oslo Accords process.